RPSS 2011-2012

Community Economic Development

Date: April 5, 2011

Topic: In recent years towns and cities around the world have embraced the practice of Community Economic Development, a community-centred approach which aims to improve local economic and social conditions. What are the main strategies and key issues surrounding Community Economic Development? John Loxley, professor and former head of the Department of Economics at the University of Manitoba, discussed recent challenges in community economic development initiatives in Quebec and Manitoba. John's presentation was followed by a Q&A.

Presenters: Dr. John Loxley (professor of economics, University of Manitoba)

Creativity in the City

Date: April 19, 2011

Topic: Chris Brennan-Horley asked us to re-evaluate our assumptions about where creativity resides in the city. Using new digital mapping technologies to study suburbs and inner city areas in Australia, Brennan-Horley provided evidence that suburbs are perhaps not as mundane as we think. This talk discussed mapping tools and techniques that can now enable researchers and planners to map in detail the 'where' of creativity in the city.

Presenters: Dr. Chris Brennan-Horley (human geographer, Australian Centre for Culture Environmental Research, University of Wollongong)

Listen to and view the presentation on Vimeo >>

Panel Discussion: Thinking and Acting Like a Region, Privileging Culture for a Change

Date: September 15, 2011

Topic: How might planners better negotiate the many jurisdictions associated with today's regional scale of planning? Ian Wight from the University of Manitoba's City Planning Department discussed how to make sense of 'the regional' and offer ways of cultivating regional culture. Panelist Doug Parrish from Cold Lake presented his perspective on the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan and APPI President Beth Sanders synthesized the two presentations. The panel concluded with a Q&A.

Presenters: Ian Wight (associate professor of city planning, University of Manitoba), Beth Sanders (president of the Alberta Professional Planners Institute), Doug Parrish (general manager)

Panel Discussion: Connecting City-Regions, Airports, High Speed Rail, and the City

Date: October 12, 2011

Topic: Airports are increasingly connecting cities and regions at a global scale for economic and social transactions. Connectivity for airports is scaled: at the local level between the urban centre; at the regional level between other modes of transport such as high speed rail; and at national/international levels between cities and hubs. Airport expert Dr. Douglas Baker of the Queensland University of Technology provided an overview of how airports provide mobility and suggest opportunities for improvement. Rounding out the panel were Leduc City Manager Paul Benedetto who discussed collaboration between the municipality and the airport, and Ron Craik who gave an update on plans for high speed rail in Alberta..

Presenters: Dr. Douglas Baker (professor of built environment and engineering, Queensland University of Technology), Paul Benedetto (city manager, City of Leduc), Rob Craik (Alberta Bullet Train)

Watch the presentation on Vimeo >>

Panel Discussion: Planning and Designing Quartier International in Downtown Montreal

Date: November 3, 2011

Topic: Clement Demers shared lessons learned in taking a holistic approach to urban planning, one that considers political, economic, architectural, and other contexts. His presentation was followed by short pecha-kucha style presentations onpanel will address the issue of implementation, of moving from motherhood statements to what's happening on the ground. Presentation topics included: politics of planning, land use planning and economic development, and change management. Presentation followed by a reception with M.A.D.E Edmonton.

Presenters: Clement Demers (architect, urban planner, and director general of Quartier International), Councillor Ben Henderson (City of Edmonton), Toby Schneider (Alberta Treasury Board and Enterprise), Rob Marchak (City of Edmonton)

Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs

Date: January 26, 2012

Topic: Can vacant big boxes, dead malls, dying commercial strips, out of date edge cities and aging office parks and garden apartment complexes be turned into more sustainable places? Ellen Dunham-Jones, award-winning architect and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will present urban design strategies and policies for re-inhabiting, redeveloping, and regreening underperforming suburban-style properties based on the over eighty successful built examples documented in her and June Williamson's 2009 book, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. The book received a PROSE award from the American Association of Publishers and has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, a TED talk, and a Time magazine cover story on "Ten Ideas Changing the World Right Now."

Presenters: Ellen Dunham-Jones (author and board member, Congress for the New Urbanism)

Watch the presentation on Vimeo:
Part 1 >> | Part 2 >> | Part 3 >>

Walk and Cycle the City

Date: March 20, 2012

Topic: Oregon planner Michael Ronkin will showcase factors critical to creating successful pedestrian and cycling networks using examples and case studies.

Presenters: Michael Ronkin (principal, Designing Streets for People)

Human Transit: Transit Network Design

Date: April 16, 2012

Topic: Jarrett Walker, author of Human Transit, outlines successful transit strategies and suggests how citizens and policymakers can influence the design of transportation options in their city.

Presenters: Jarrett Walker (principal consultant, MRCagney)

Thank you to sponsors and friends of the 2012-2013 RPSS speaker series:

  • City of Edmonton, Planning and Development
  • Government of Alberta, Municipal Affairs
  • Brownlee LLP
  • University of Alberta, Faculty of Extension
  • Alberta Professional Planning Institute
  • M.A.D.E. in Edmonton
  • City of Leduc
  • Strathcona County
  • City of Spruce Grove
  • Alberta Real Estate Foundation