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Situated between 8 Street SW and 14 Street SW and between the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) tracks and the Bow River, the Downtown is a neighbourhood that is still evolving in its identity. Great potential exists to enhance it into a unique and integrated neighbourhood given the qualities of open and special spaces that currently exist and contribute to the Downtown West. The Downtown West also exhibits a unique mix of heritage resources (e.g. Mewata Armoury, the Kerby Centre and the former Science Centre site) that provide the opportunity to create a sense of identity for the neighbourhood.
The Downtown West is special for the presence of Shaw Millennium Park and its adjacency to the Bow River. In recent years, the Downtown West has experienced a significant amount of residential development however; it stands as an island at the west end of the Centre City, lacking the qualities of amenity and integration that would provide a stronger sense of identity. The Downtown West, although strong in its adjacency to the Bow River, it is not well-connected for pedestrian movements to the Bow riverfront, surrounding neighbourhoods and the Downtown.
The substantial amount of east and west vehicular movements bisect the neighbourhood therefore,
not fully achieving the components of an integrated neighbourhood. The policies for the Downtown West seek to provide a stronger sense of place and better integrate it as a neighbourhood both within and as a part of the Centre City.