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Southland Leisure Centre – Going Green Initiatives

Southland Leisure Centre, constructed in 1983 hosts over 1.5 million visitors each year in this 227,000 square foot, large multi-purpose facility that includes a wave pool, twin arenas, gymnasium, racquet courts, climbing walls, gymnastics and fitness facilities all under one roof. Now, with the advent of greener technology, Southland Leisure Centre will use the heat of the sun as solar power to heat domestic and pool water, new energy efficient lighting technology has replaced the old to reduce operating expenses, impact on the environment, and showcase innovation for future building projects.

Southland’s green initiatives are improving cost efficiencies for facility sustainability, providing educational opportunities and allowing The City to innovate and gather new intelligence about the impact of green technologies on old multi-use facilities. The energy efficiencies, decreases in green house gas emissions, and reduced utility and maintenance costs, benefit all Calgarians. Initiatives like this play an important role in building strong communities and contribute to making Calgary a great place to live, work and play.

Southland Leisure Centre’s – Going Green initiatives are an example of Transforming Government as they demonstrate new approaches to building sustainable community places and spaces and offer innovative ways to reduce operating costs and environmental impact. These new approaches will facilitate enhanced recreational opportunities for Calgarians now and into the future.

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Calgary.ca was originally launched in 2002. In response to the advancement of new technologies and expectations from our citizens, in 2007 The City decided to fund improvements for the development of a new web presence. The new calgary.ca provides easy access to The City’s information and services with a search-based concept reducing the need to browse through connected pages and improves the likelihood that users will get what they need on the first click.

In August 2011, we launched the new calgary.ca website with improved Search Engine Optimization that never presumes to know what a user wants but always knows to ask. This innovation reduced the need to browse through connected pages and improved the likelihood that users would get what they need on the first click. In a post-launch usability test conducted by Ipsos Reid, completion rate of tasks on the site was improved by 63 per cent. There was also a fivefold increase in tasks rated as “very easy” to complete — 12 per cent vs. 64 per cent.

This is an example of Transforming Government because the revamp of calgary.ca was designed using with citizens in mind and with the long-term goal of calgary.ca being the channel of choice for City information and services.

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Wall Of Windows

The Wall of Windows’ content and materials have been developed specifically for each window box and these will be refreshed throughout the year. Each window box presents a different take on the overarching theme and offers insights into celebrating our city, a forum for citizen responses, a gallery for art, images or words, an events calendar, and a place to highlight how citizens participate in different activities.

City communicators are constantly looking for new opportunities to communicate with Calgarians about programs, services and what makes this city such a great place to live. The planned refurbishment of the City Hall C-Train platform provided an opportunity to re-design the face of the Municipal Complex to create an innovative, unique communication space to inform and engage the public. Currently, the Wall of Windows is part of a pilot project that will help determine the most effective ways that this space can be utilized to communicate with Calgarians. The City Hall ‘Wall of Windows’ features seven colourful, engaging display boxes located on the exterior of the Municipal Complex along the south platform of the newly constructed City Hall LRT station. The total installation spans 140 feet (~42 metres), and each box is 20’ wide by 8’ high and 4’ deep.

This project invokes the principles of Transforming Government in the following ways:
  • Transparency – The concept of the City Hall Wall of Windows is to provide a ‘window’ into what is going on behind the scenes, so citizens can better understand City projects and services and how they fit into their lives.
  • Accountability – Each window box will state which Council approved vision, such as imagineCALGARY, that the highlighted project or service helps to achieve.
  • Civic Engagement – The City Hall Wall of Windows is designed to showcase projects or services through the eyes of citizens and to use their own voices, quotes, pictures and reactions to projects or services
  • Innovation – This is a new, unique space and channel which engages citizens and delivers information in a place they already use. It also beautifies the platform, making it more enjoyable to pass through.
  • Citizen Orientation – The guiding principles and design of this space ensure that the citizen is the priority. All content is citizen, human and future focused.
  • Sustainability – Each window box relates the content to The City’s future vision, such as imagineCALGARY or the 2020 Sustainability Direction.

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TransitStory, created by artist (and former Calgarian) Jill Anholt and installed outside the 7 Ave. and Centre St. LRT platform in May 2012, showcases 30 sculptures of people, fabricated from steel, artfully painted and lit from below. The "crowd" appears to share a brief moment with the thousands of other commuters embarking and disembarking at the busy station.

This installation is an example of Transforming Government due to its innovative use of public art to enhance this public space and serve a function beyond improved aesthetics. While the project definitely contributes to the on-going 7 Avenue Refurbishment by enriching and enlivening the ridership and pedestrian experience, it also adds to the sense of safety and security of the area. Citizen orientation was also a key contributing factor in that the artist's stated intent was to "intrigue passers-by, drawing them to look closer at the work itself and by extension, explore and discover connections and relationships embodied in the site."

The artwork was made possible through the Public Art Policy and the Transportation department.

For more information about this project and the Public Art Program, visit www.calgary.ca/publicart.

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Toilet Rebate Replacement Program

Saving water is now easier and quicker

The City of Calgary Toilet Replacement Rebate Program has been updated to ensure that toilet selection and rebate application process are easier and quicker.

We made it easier to save water and money by making it simpler for citizens to identify eligible toilets in store and by streamlining the application process. Now all citizens have to do is look for the WaterSense label when they purchase a high-efficiency toilet.

Everyone is winning with the new process, people are getting their $50 rebates much quicker, citizen calls related to toilet eligibility have decreased by 60 per cent and the higher efficiency toilets save 20 per cent more water than their low-flush 6L toilet counterparts.

These changes are examples of Transforming Government because the redesigned program better meets the needs of our citizens and saves even more water without compromising function.

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A culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary.
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What is Transforming Government?

Government exists to serve citizens. Every day, citizens are touched by The City of Calgary and the services it offers. Transforming Government is a culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary — improvement that makes life better for all citizens.

In 2011, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and City Council unanimously agreed to embrace and reinforce this approach to constant improvement — Transforming Government is a way to do just that. So, when you see the Transforming Government stamp on something, you know it is part of something that makes Calgary even better.

A public work, an initiative, project, program or plan marked with Transforming Government reflects one or more of the following principles:

Transparency provides a clear view of exactly what’s going on “behind the scenes”, so citizens can understand why a project or service exists.

Accountability is the clear demonstration of how and why The City has done something, and that The City and Council accept responsibility for the decision, program or plan.

Civic Engagement is a commitment to bring together citizens, organizations, and City employees in the planning and development of our great city.

Innovation describes new ideas, services, or approaches that make living and working in Calgary even better.

Citizen Orientation ensures that a program, project or service is designed with customers or citizens in mind.

Sustainability describes long-term thinking that makes for a healthy community, environment, and economy, now and in the future.

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