The Origins of Olympic Plaza

September 4, 2018 in History

The Olympics are often remembered for the moments that happen during the event, but we thought we’d explore an example of the built legacy that Olympics and large scale events leave behind. Today, we’re going to dive into the history of Olympic Plaza in Calgary.

This episode explores the decisions made and key lessons learned from the construction of Calgary’s Olympic Plaza. Today, Calgary is grappling with the possibility of bidding on the 2026 Olympics, so Olympic infrastructure is top of mind for many Calgarians.

Let’s rewind a few decades to learn about how and why the plaza began. Today’s guest is Richard Parker.


Olympic Plaza site before construction. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza site before construction. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza opening day. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Concept image of Olympic Plaza. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza Brick Program. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Business For The Better

August 20, 2018 in Art & Culture, Business, Community

When we talk about cities, developers are often the only businesses that get discussed. But how can other companies contribute to a city? To explore this question, we wanted to talk to someone that has helped spearhead a purpose driven business with community at the heart of the operation.

Jim Button is the co-founder of Village Brewery, a brewery based in Calgary, AB. Since day one, 10% of the company’s bottom line has gone towards supporting Calgary’s arts and community.

In this episode Jim and John talk about:

  • The importance of finding purpose
  • Calgary’s changing culture
  • How pubs and breweries can catalyze a community



Building Up Well-Being

August 6, 2018 in Design, Health

How we design our cities impacts how we feel.

From green spaces and tree-lined streets to walkable ‘hoods and lively public places, there are many design considerations that can increase well-being.

And then there are the fifty-storey skyscrapers, ten-lane highways and endless acres of parking lots, which are argued to lead to increased stress and decreased well-being.

This idea of designing cities to maximize well-being has been a hot topic in recent years. But how does one actually measure the relationship between urban design and mental health? Can we quantify and analyze how urban design choices, such as tall skyscrapers, make us feel?

Today’s guest is doing just that.

Robin Mazumder is doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. He is studying the psychological impacts of urban design. His research is inspired by his passion for urbanism, his front-line experience working as an occupational therapist in mental health, and his interest in human-centred design.