Halal Housing Lab: Community Resilience

March 26, 2023 in Community, Halal Housing Lab, Housing

What would housing look like if community, hospitality, and beauty were at the forefront? These things are sometimes experienced in housing but rarely priorities in affordable housing, often neglected in lieu of more units or smaller footprints – which doesn’t align with Islamic values, or supporting communities to flourish.

This is the third episode of the five part Halal Housing Lab podcast series, exploring how we might create community resiliency within affordable housing projects for multigenerational Muslim families in Edmonton, Alberta. The Halal Housing Lab is a collaborative project between our partners at Islamic Family, Another Way, SAS Architecture, Ask for a Better World, and Intelligent Futures, funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Over the course of the past several months, we’ve begun working to find new and innovative housing solutions that not only accommodate the needs of multigenerational Muslim families, but can improve the housing market for everyone in Canada.

Community resilience is the sustained ability of communities to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adverse change, to come back stronger than ever. Today, I’ll chat with three of our lab partners: Islamic Family’s Programs Director, Lena Awwad, architect and passionate citizen Shafraaz Kaba of Ask For A Better World, and servant of servants, Omar Yaqub of Islamic Family to better understand community resiliency within the Muslim community, and the impacts of resiliency on affordable housing design.

If you know of any non-traditional affordable housing models that you think might be relevant to the exploration of Halal Housing, drop us a note at hello@360degree.city. We would love to hear about them!


Islamic Family Service Hub: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/ifssa-refugees-newcomers-hub-community-1.6592455

The Canadian Prayer Rug: https://www.canadianprayerrug.ca/

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! 



Educating, Employing & Empowering Youth

April 23, 2018 in Community, Youth

On 360° City, we want to share stories about people that you may have never heard of – the people who aren’t in the spotlight, because they’re just too busy doing work in their own community. Today, you’ll meet a group of people that are true role models in their community. The team at Youth Rebuilding New Orleans get to work to help people and build community – whether in an immediate crisis, building homes for educators or building life skills for young people.

Learn more about Youth Rebuilding New Orleans here: http://yrno.com

You can learn more about the work we do at Intelligent Futures here: http://intelligentfutures.ca