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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Facing north, +15 sign and covered walkway linking the TransCanada Tower (east) and Fifth Avenue Place
Facing north, +15 sign and covered walkway linking the TransCanada Tower (east) and Fifth Avenue Place
+15 network in downtown Calgary
+15 network in downtown Calgary

The Plus 15 or +15 Skyway network in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is the world's most extensive pedestrian skywalk systems, with a total length of 18 kilometres (11 miles) and 83 bridges, making it the longest continuous system in the world..[1] The system is so named because the skywalks are approximately 15 feet (approximately 4.5 metres) above street level. (Some Plus 15 skywalks are multi-level, with higher levels being referred to as +30s and +45s.)

History

+15 under construction between Centennial Place and the Canterra Tower in 2009
+15 under construction between Centennial Place and the Canterra Tower in 2009

The system was conceived and designed by architect Harold Hanen, who worked for the Calgary Planning Department from 1966 to 1969. This development earned him the 1970 Vincent Massey Award for Merit in Urban Planning.

Opening in 1970, the +15 network has expanded to include 83 enclosed bridges connecting dozens of downtown Calgary buildings. The central core of the system is a series of enclosed shopping centres, and the city's flagship department stores.

New developments were required to connect to the walkway system; in exchange for this, they were offered more floorspace (the "bonus density"). When not physically able to connect to nearby buildings, developers contribute to the "Plus 15 Fund", managed by the city, used to finance other missing connections.[2]

Impact

The system has been identified with a decline in street life in the Downtown Commercial Core.[3] Street life is instead concentrated on streets (such as Stephen Avenue) or in neighbourhoods where there are no bridges (such as Eau Claire and the Beltline).

In 1998, the city began to re-evaluate the system.[3] Part of the goal of these studies was reinvigorating decreased daytime street life on some downtown streets. The possibility of limiting expansion to encourage more pedestrian street traffic was raised.

The system's bridges are integral to the buildings they serve. City planning by-laws now confer tax credits to owners who connect new buildings to the system. Businesses and the general public make extensive use of the system's enhanced flow of human traffic.

List of connected buildings

Facing north, the former three level skywalk at The Core Shopping Centre
Facing north, the former three level skywalk at The Core Shopping Centre
Facing west, previous skywalk over the C-Train tracks linking the downtown Holt Renfrew department store to the 4th Street Southwest LRT station before its reconstruction
Facing west, previous skywalk over the C-Train tracks linking the downtown Holt Renfrew department store to the 4th Street Southwest LRT station before its reconstruction

[4]

In popular culture

The Plus 15 is one of the central plot elements in the 2000 film Waydowntown, directed by Gary Burns.

See also

References

  1. ^ [1] Calgary's +15 Skywalk at the Wayback Machine (archived 2013-02-09) City of Calgary - Calgary's +15 Skywalk
  2. ^ City of Calgary - Plus 15 System
  3. ^ a b "+15 User Survey", a City of Calgary study published in 1998
  4. ^ Building List from plus15.ca Archived 2008-06-04 at the Wayback Machine

External links

This page was last edited on 26 February 2021, at 19:29
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