Job title: Manager, Green Line
Why she's a 2016 Top 40:
As the driving force behind Calgary’s largest infrastructure project, MacIntyre is building the foundation for the Calgary of the future.
photograph by Erin Brooke Burns. Photographed at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.
Fabiola MacIntyre always thought she’d be an artist, but her love of problem-solving won out and she decided, instead, to be an engineer. Today, she’s the driving force behind the largest infrastructure project in Calgary’s history.
When the city’s long-planned Green Line LRT, which has a projected multi-billion-dollar price tag and will add 40 new kilometres of track, moves its first passenger from Calgary’s northernmost and southernmost points into the downtown in half the time the four-wheeled commute takes now, it will be in large part thanks to MacIntyre’s drive, determination and her organizing and management abilities.
For MacIntyre, the Green Line isn’t just a project; it’s the backbone that will shape and serve the Calgary of the future. “We are now a city of more than a million people —we need to think about what we will need as a city of 2 million people,” she says. “Projects like this, they’re not just about what kind of city you want to live in, but what kind of city you want your children to live in.”
For her children — she has two — MacIntyre wants a city full of “vibrant communities where Calgarians can live, work, play and move,” and she’s determined to help build that city.
Her passion for her work is a critical part of why MacIntyre is so effective at her job. So is her ability to visualize the future, and to communicate that vision clearly and imaginatively to her multidisciplinary team, her colleagues at the City and other levels of government, and to Calgary’s citizens, each of whom she sees as an invested stakeholder in the project.
MacIntyre credits both strengths to her hybrid “artist and engineer” brain: she thinks in 3-D pictures, and knows how to put them down on paper, just as she knows how to translate the engineering language of track routes and LRT platforms into a story and vision centred on the human experience of riding the train — or being affected by the train moving through your neighbourhood.
When she’s not building the Calgary of tomorrow, MacIntyre is in the wildernesses that surround the city, camping with her husband and children. “It’s easy to immerse myself in my work so completely the rest of the world disappears,” she says. “My greatest challenge is to shut that off and be fully present, fully immersed in my children, in my family when I’m with them.” — Marzena Czarnecka