The rapid growth and decay of rural communities has been a hallmark of Western Canadian development for decades, particularly in natural resource mining and processing communities. There is a strong link between boom/bust patterns and how natural resource development is managed - this link is so strong that a community’s dependence the availability and demand for natural resources such as oil and gas is often considered inevitable. However, the boom / bust pattern can have negative social, economic, and environmental impacts.
We believe that even with a strong economic dependence on natural resource development, there are more resilience paths to community development. This research will explore strategies for promoting sustainable development in boom and bust economies, through the lens of evolutionary governance, to better promote long-term growth and development in rural Alberta, and in other resource development communities worldwide.
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