RPSS 2016-2017

Regional Planning Speakers Series 2013-2014

Building Community Foundations for Social and Affordable Housing

When: June 27, 2017

Where: Room 2-520, Classroom A, Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue

Time: Registration 5:30pm; Event 6:00-7:30pm; Reception: 7:30pm-8:00pm

This event is an opportunity to visit and explore the Faculty's new suite of learning facilities.

Topic: Accessing adequate social and affordable housing is a challenge for an increasing number of Canadians. Here at home in Edmonton, rising rents and low vacancy rates leave many families in precarious housing positions, and there are long wait lists for access to a limited stock of below-market, safe and adequate housing. Homelessness, has also become a pervasive part of our city, leaving some of the most vulnerable citizens of the city without access to the services and supports they need. Housing insecurity and homelessness also have carry-over consequences for our communities as whole. For these reasons housing is increasingly seen as an essential infrastructure investment supporting safe, healthy, and prosperous communities. Recent commitments across government to invest in innovative forms of supportive and affordable housing offer a significant opportunity to begin to rectify longstanding failures in our communities.

To capitalise on this opportunity it is necessary to build dialogue and shared understandings of how affordable and social housing can be developed, integrated and supported within our neighbourhoods, communities and municipalities. The City-Region Studies Centre at the University of Alberta is hosting a stakeholder-led conversation to help identify forthcoming challenges and opportunities for addressing social and affordable housing needs, and to identify pathways for success.

On the evening of June 27th we will be chairing a panel discussion and engagement workshop to address questions, such as:

- How can design and planning ensure affordable housing is integrated within and supportive of all residents in a community?

- How can communities engage and inform affordable housing developments in their own neighbourhoods?

- In a diverse city-region, how can affordable housing needs be coordinated across the municipalities and communities?

Format: A panel of three to four community leaders will provide a series of short presentations which will help anchor and frame key issues and topics for consideration. Following these presentations, there will be opportunities for a facilitated question and answer period, as well as a series of small table discussions with panelists to explore topics in-depth and to bring collective expertise together to identify paths forward.

Panelists: Carola Cunningham, Executive Director Niginan Housing Ventures; Greg Dewling, CEO, Capital Region Housing; Kim Petrin, Chair Lendrum Affordable Housing Panel & Senior Associate, Community Development, Stantec; Jay Freeman, Executive Director, Housing and Homelessness, City of Edmonton

Panel Chair and Facilitator: Dr. Kevin E. Jones

Registration: www.eventbrite.ca/e/building-community-foundations-for-social-and-affordable-housing-tickets-35054406674


Let's Talk Heritage: Connecting Narratives Through Placemaking

Date: November 30, 2016

Edmonton is a city with many years and layers of history. This includes our natural history, our indigenous history, our cultural history and our built history. This also includes our tangible and intangible heritage - important parts of Edmonton's history that can no longer be seen and need to be interpreted and translated. How do we interpret heritage in ways that can honour the past's story and that can contribute to city-building and placemaking initiatives for the future?
Let's Talk Heritage explored the processes to help us understand and include these many layers, voices and narratives. How can we represent our history and heritage in the places we plan and build?

Let's Talk Heritage highlights the work on the River Crossing Heritage Interpretive Plan. The Heritage Interpretive Plan will consider how to interpret the heritage themes of the River Crossing area and how to interpret through different urban features and development scales such as architecture, landscaping, public art, signage, programming, activities, streetscaping, and pathways.

This event was hosted in collaboration with CITYlab of the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Heritage Council (EHC). Let's Talk Heritage featured a round table discussion with local and guest panelists

Panelists: Marilyn Dumont, poet & professor at the University of Alberta. Miranda Jimmy, co-founder of Rise Edmonton & Program Manager at EHC. Lisa Larson, Senior Planner at the City of Edmonton. Guest panelist Jay Pitter, an author, placemaker and senior stakeholder engagement professional and editor of Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity.



Inclusive City-Building Workshop

Guest Speaker: Jay Pitter

Most city-builders care deeply about creating resilient, thriving, and socially inclusive cities. Whether redeveloping a social housing community, setting priorities for new transit routes, amending zoning to better support local economies, or curating stories of ever-changing cultural sites-city-builders are navigating an increasingly complex range of challenges for realizing this goal. Among other key principles such as environmental resilience and economic prosperity, social equity is critically important to the future of cities. It must be both embraced and translated across all city-building conversations in order to co-create cities for everyone. Using practical case studies reflective of increasingly diverse and complex urban regions, this workshop will address the following:


· Uncover systemic and historical barriers preventing or complicating inclusive city-building;

· Present a holistic city-building framework, which considers both spatial design, inclusion, and social justice;

· Create space to practice naming difficult issues and having uncomfortable conversations;

· Identify clear strategies for translating good intent to good practices;

· Celebrate a diverse range of expertise and lived experiences.


This workshop is being hosted in concert with Let's Talk Heritage: Connecting Narratives through Placemaking panel discussion taking place on the evening of Wednesday, November 30, 2016 as part of the CRSC's collaboration with the CIty of Edmonton and Edmonton Heritage Council.


Jay Pitter, MES is an author, placemaker and senior stakeholder engagement professional. Throughout her career, Jay has spearheaded noteworthy projects with organizations such as the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Community Housing, The Health and Safety Task Force, the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and DIALOG, a national architecture firm. Her work has consistently resulted in increasing the capacity, resources and relationships required for co-creating more inclusive, safe, and vibrant cities. Jay has been a guest lecturer and faculty member within post-secondary institutions and has also co-led a number of participatory research processes. Most recently she collaborated with Westbank to increase community engagement in the Honest Ed's redevelopment process, co-edited Subdivided, a Coach House anthology exploring inclusive city-building, and was one of two authors selected to be interviewed by Premier Kathleen Wynne at the recent Word on the Street Festival. She is currently the Director of Stakeholder Engagement with the Inspirit Foundation and shooting a five-part walk show series with Bell media.


Human Rights and the City

Date: October 27, 2016

Topic: The City-Region Studies Centre launchd this season's Regional Planning Speakers Series by hosting an panel discussion on the topic of "Human Rights and the City" in collaboration with the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Dr. Sandeep Agrawal introduced and Dr. Kevin Jones moderated an inter-sectoral panel that brings together local and national experts to engage in debate on the state of our understanding of human rights and how they apply to our cities. The discussion covered human rights issues as they relate to urban aboriginal and new Canadian communities, social and affordable housing, and, in general, services and facilities provided by municipal governments. This event is being organized in collaboration with the University of Alberta Urban and Regional Planning Program and support from the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS). The panel will include presentations with a panel discussion featuring local and national experts.

Presenters: Antonella Ceddia, Human Rights litigator with the City of Toronto, Robert Philp, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals for Alberta and Chief Commissioner of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Shirish Chotalia, Immigration Lawyer, and Dominique Clement, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta.

Strange Bedfellows: Land Use Planning and Human Rights

Human Rights and the City, Lunch & Learn Event

Guest Speaker: Antonella Ceddia, City of Toronto

As professionals, urban planners are obligated to "define and serve the interests of the public". This obligation takes many forms from creative civic engagement practice, to long range policies framed to consider social, ecological and economic concerns, to the imagining of the design and building of a high quality public realm. But what is curiously absent from contemporary planners' discourse is real consideration of what it means to practice planning with an active concern for human rights obligations. This session will provide an understanding of the intersection of rights and planning and provide context and an analytical framework necessary to resolve the complex issues planners face on a regular basis.

This event provided an opportunity for participants to engage the topic in a small setting with an experience lawyer and practitioner. Our aim is to provide a balance between learning and developing a conversation exploring how human rights commitments can be accommodated in planning practice within Alberta.

Antonella Ceddia is a litigation lawyer with the City of Toronto where she practices human rights defense on behalf of the City, Chief of Police of the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board. In addition to litigation defense, Antonella advises the City on contentious human rights issues that arise from the services the City provides to the public. Antonella articled at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and she practiced litigation defense at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto for six years before joining the City. Antonella's legal advice is enhanced by senior professional roles she held in policy advice and analysis in her first career, before she studied law, including as Policy/Issues Analyst at the Cabinet Office, province of Ontario; Policy Advisor at the Office of the Mayor -Toronto; Principal of her own human rights consulting firm; Investigator at the Ontario Human Rights Commission; and first professional, full-time Human Rights Investigator at Ryerson University. In addition to her LL.B., Antonella holds an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Practice Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Antonella developed and now teaches a course on human rights obligations and land use planning at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University.


Thank you to sponsors and friends of the 2016-2017 RPSS speaker series:

  • City of Edmonton, Sustainable Development
  • Government of Alberta, Municipal Affairs
  • Brownlee LLP
  • University of Alberta, Faculty of Extension
  • University of Alberta Planning School