Intersections Seminar Series

Intersections: exploring space, community, and local governance

Seminar Series Exploring Space, Community, and Social Justice: 2016-2017

The City-Region Studies Centre has partnered with the University of Alberta Planning Program to Intersections-a seminar series exploring place, community, and local governance.

The aim of this series is to create a forum to identify future challenges, priorities, and engagement opportunities related to urban, regional, and community-based research. The series is open to all University of Alberta staff and students and is intended to support collaboration and the development of interdisciplinary research partnerships across faculties. Presentations are interactive, and instead of presenting on completed research, or research in progress, scholars are asked to lead participants in considering emerging research interests and to explore the means of responding to these challenges.

We are looking forward to announcing this year's agenda of events, involving key guests addressing issues of substantial consequence for Alberta's municipalities and regions. Dates, speakers, and abstracts will all outlined below.

If you would like to learn more about Intersections or CRSC, contact us at, and include "Intersections" in the subject line.

Strengthening Communities: Governance, Adaptation and Sustainability - Book Launch

Date: November 2, 2016

Time: 12-1:30 pm

Location: Tory 3-36

The Faculty of Extension is pleased to host a conversation about pathways for strengthening communities and municipalities. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the publication of a series of four scholarly manuscripts, each of which provides unique insight and expertise into the challenges and opportunities for creating prosperous, sustainable, and resilient communities.

The session will begin with a brief introduction to each book, and an opportunity to build a conversation across the themes presented. Please join us in concluding the session with a short reception - coffee and snacks will be provided.

Strengthening Communities - Four Recent Publications:

  • Taking the Next Steps: Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada (2016) Editors: Lars Hallstrom, Mary Beckie, G.T. Hvengaard and K.M. Mundel.
  • Scaling Up: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability (2016) Editors: Mike Gismondi and Mary Beckie.
  • City-Regions in Prospect? Exploring Points between Place and Practice (2015) Editors: Kevin E. Jones, Alex Lord and Rob Shields.
  • Rural Development: Knowledge and Expertise in Governance (2015) Authors: Kristof Van Assche and Anna-Katharina Hornidge.

To learn more about or order any of these books, as well as other recent Faculty of Extension publications, visit

To attend please register here.

Learning from Communities and Developing for Communities

Date: November 10, 2016

Time: 12-1pm

Location: Tory 3-36

Abstract: Albertans are aiming to build vibrant digital communities to address the issue of the digital divide. There is an emerging but disparate body of material on rural and community broadband that can enable and guide Albertans on their initiative of building digital communities, but access to such content is scattered and challenging for community members and researchers to locate and effectively use. As a result there is scarcity of both knowledge and technical infrastructure (bandwidth and connectivity) that hampers rural broadband access. In addition such content may not be useful to address the localized needs of these communities. The project team investigated such needs through a participatory research project.

The project aims to address these challenges by developing a curated web-based portal and online repository of documents relevant to communities in Alberta. We developed a portal - The Digital Communities Broadband Portal - that enhances the community broadband ecosystem that provides a digital platform for community members to collaborate and access documents relevant to rural and community broadband. The presentation will highlight the portal, discuss key lessons learned and review the design process.

Presenters: Rob McMahon, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta; Dinesh Rathi, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta; Michael McNally, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta