Calgary has a lot of things going for it. Even in post-recession Canada Calgary is still the heart of the country’s most powerful economy. It’s still easier to get a job, and open a new business, in Calgary than it is anywhere else in the country. While these are fantastic attributes for a city to have, they come at a cost. I was at a dinner party a few weeks ago and I met a young woman from Vancouver who complained that she ‘hated going to parties in Calgary because everyone spends the whole night handing out business cards’. The sad thing is that she was right. The whole night long the guests were passing around business cards like they were party favours. This, in a nutshell, is the problem with people’s perception of Calgary. It’s all about business all the time. These values are what makes Calgary a great business centre, but leaves it lacking as a cultural center.Calgary’s downtown core is a product of this practical mindset, at present it is mostly composed of office towers and shops that usually close at sunset. In essence it is a place where people work and do business, but where few people actually live. This is where the East Village comes in. The area from 3rd St. SE, along 9th Ave to the Elbow river is being radically redeveloped in order to bring sustainable housing, architectural style, and a renewed sense of vitality to Calgary’s downtown core. The plan was put forward in 2005, but it won’t be until 2013 that it is put into action.In response to this, the area just south of the East Village has seen the construction of a number of high-end apartment buildings. Two that have already been completed are the Arriva and the Vetro. Both of these developments are worth checking out online respectively (Arriva and Vetro) so I won’t go into too much detail, except to say that they are both magnificently appointed. The neighbourhood where they have been built is a little bare at present, but these are both forward thinking development projects. Once construction begins on the East Village these two towers will have front row seats to the revitalisation of Calgary’s downtown core. This type of development is an excellent step forward for the development of Calgary both as a city and as a cultural centre for the province. The fact that independent developers are catching on and building huge, elegant apartment buildings is helping to give the project momentum. It’s very strange and exciting to try to imagine what downtown Calgary is going to be like in the next five years.