Canada’s Communities

July 25, 2018 in Art & Culture, Community, Politics

Last weekend, two of us from the team went to Winnipeg for the national Canadian Institute of Planners Conference. In collaboration with the Manitoba Professional Planners Institue, this conference attracted urbanists from across the country. The conference covered many topics, from the importance of music venues and motels to why storytelling is key for city building.

We wanted to share snippets of stories about Canadian communities, so we went to the streets and conference halls to ask planners what challenges their communities are facing. We heard a variety of responses.

We recognize the many challenges facing communities across the nation, but we didn’t want to end the conversation there. The theme of the conference was soul, grit and authenticity.

Paul Kennedy, host of the CBC Radio Show Ideas said in his keynote that: “Soul is what you find when you don’t know what you’re looking for. You’ll find it when you listen.” So we thought we’d listen to others and ask: What gives your community soul?

Whether dealing with growth or decline or anything in between, cities from coast to coast to coast face challenges when preparing and planning for change. But when a city encourages social interactions and strong feelings of connection, communities can cultivate soul, which can lead to solidarity and strength.

As Jane Jacobs once said, “There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings that we must fit our plans.” 

We had a great time with the fellow CIP delegates this past weekend. Big thanks to Sheena and CIP for setting us up at the conference. And thank you to everyone who participated in this podcast episode! 

Resources

 

Anthropology & Equity

June 18, 2018 in Politics

Today’s guest is Katrina Johnston Zimmerman, an advocate for equitable and women led cities. Through her observational methods as an urban anthropologist, Katrina is working to make cities more inclusive for everybody.

In this episode, Katrina and John talk about:

  • How Katrina understands cities through the lens of an urban anthropologist
  • Some shifts that have occurred in cities over time
  • The importance of advocating for women led cities
  • How cities can become more equitable

Resources

 

 

National Strategies for Cities

June 4, 2018 in Community, Politics

How we build our cities is always going to be intertwined with politics. This episode is the second of two episodes where John talks to urbanists who have become politicians.

In the last episode, John talked to Jyoti Gondek, a city councilor in Calgary, about what it’s like to be a urbanist turned politician at the municipal scale.

Today, John talks to Andy Fillmore, a Member of Parliament, about what it’s like to be an urbanist turned politician at the national scale.

 In this episode, Andy and John talk about:

  • Why urban planning is an important profession that is going to help save the world.
  • The National Housing Strategy: a 10 year, 40 billion dollar strategy that was announced by the Liberal government in late 2017.
  • Why investing in infrastructure is important (even though it is seen as an un-sexy topic).
  • How citizens can get involved in political decision making.

Resources
National Housing Strategy
Meet Andy Fillmore
Learn about the Halifax Central Library
Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyFillmoreHFX