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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!
- Learn more about the SOUL 2018 CIP/MPPI Conference
- Learn more about the Canadian Institute of Planners
- Listen to the CBC radio show Ideas.
- Learn more about the work we do at Intelligent Futures