Esteemed Cities

September 17, 2018 in Travel

We love asking our guests to share a city they love and why. The city lovers we’ve had on the podcast generally find this tough to answer, as most enjoy a bunch of cities. Often, they cheat and list more than one city, but because I’m an understanding person, I allow it. The answers we’ve received have been insightful and inspiring, so we thought we would put together a super-cut highlighting the cities that our guests have listed as places they adore. Warning: what you’re about to hear might increase your desire to travel.

The Origins of Olympic Plaza

September 4, 2018 in History

The Olympics are often remembered for the moments that happen during the event, but we thought we’d explore an example of the built legacy that Olympics and large scale events leave behind. Today, we’re going to dive into the history of Olympic Plaza in Calgary.

This episode explores the decisions made and key lessons learned from the construction of Calgary’s Olympic Plaza. Today, Calgary is grappling with the possibility of bidding on the 2026 Olympics, so Olympic infrastructure is top of mind for many Calgarians.

Let’s rewind a few decades to learn about how and why the plaza began. Today’s guest is Richard Parker.


Olympic Plaza site before construction. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza site before construction. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza opening day. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Concept image of Olympic Plaza. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza Brick Program. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

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!