Centre for Cities and Communities

The Centre for Cities and Communities at the University of Alberta School of Business is a catalyst and partner ensuring that Alberta is at the forefront of city-building innovation within Canada and around the globe.


Bringing together the School of Retailing and the Real Estate Program, the Centre for Cities and Communities will collaborate across disciplines with a broader agenda focused on the role of the private sector, the public sector and NGOs in creating great cities.


To be a global leader in facilitating collaboration in urban research, teaching, and partnerships which will ensure that Alberta, Canada, and other cities globally can benefit from the latest advances in technology and city building.


To provide excellence in research and teaching in real estate, retail, economics, finance, and development at the nexus between city-building and technology and to build collaboration across related disciplines.


The Centre for Cities and Communities focuses on three core elements: student experience, community outreach, world-class research. Some initiatives of the Centre include:

Student Experience

School of Business Consulting Group

Initiative 1: Digital Economy Program

Funded by grants, the program is designed to help local businesses develop their digital foundations while providing the students at the University of Alberta with valuable hands-on experience.

"“Being a part of the consulting group has definitely been a highlight of my degree program so far. I’ve utilized the marketing and business skills I’ve learned in class, and also have been able to connect personally with the small business owners to help them rebound from an especially difficult time period. Of course, one of the best things about the position is that our SOBCG team is close-knit and has been extremely fun to work with!"

Student, Alberta School of Business

Community Outreach

City Building at the University of Alberta: Opening the Doors 

This event, held at the Dinwoodie Lounge on March 24, 2022, featured industry experts with varying degrees of knowledge and insightful talks. Topics ranged from Public Spaces in the post-pandemic world to self-driving cars, to community housing.

The event had a grand total of 63 attendees and 17 speakers. Overall, the conference was well-received by attendees but some helpful feedback was received!

Watch the recordings (password: UACB2022)

"The Centre’s deep connection to business, cities, and industry allows us to be the convener, creating win-win collaborations for our students and partners. Bringing together real-time industry research and experience, our top graduates are creating vibrant and sustainable solutions as cities and communities evolve across Canada."

Founder, Omada Realty

World-class Research

Argo, J.J.
, & Dahl, D.W. (2020). Social influence in the retail context: A contemporary review of the literatureJournal of Retailing, 96(1), 25-39.

“The new Centre for Cities and Communities builds on the strong tradition of retailing and consumer research in the Alberta School of Business, combined with our emerging strength in real estate and the built environment. This Centre is an important part of the future of the School and it will be a catalyst for continued excellence in teaching and research for many years to come.”

Dean, Alberta School of Business



John Pracejus, Academic Director


David Dale-Johnson, Director


Heather Thomson, Executive Director


Craig Patterson, Applied Research



For more information on how you can support the Centre for Cities and Communities, contact:

Heather Thomson
Executive Director
Email: hathomso@ualberta.ca
Phone: 780-716-7970