Boom & Bust: A Guide to managing ups and downs in communities

Boom & Bust - managing ups and downs in community: A Guide

About the Book

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs which too often characterize western Canadian communities. It offers community leaders, politicians, administrators, academics, students, and all active citizens helpful techniques to analyze the current state of their own community, understand how it got where it is today, and ultimately, identify possible ways forward. This helpful and accessible guide encourages analysis of historical paths and policy contexts to better understand what strategies might work (or not) in a community.

Written and edited by Kristof Van Assche, Leith Deacon, Monica Gruezmacher, Robert J. Summers, Stéphane Lavoie, Kevin Edson Jones, Michael Granzow, Lars Hallstrom, and John Parkings. Published by the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, with support from the City-Region Studies Centre and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study.


"Our need to understand and adjust to the highs and lows of economic cycles has only been magnified during the time leading up to the publication of this book. Citizens, including leaders in Alberta and northern British Columbia, should welcome this contribution to the literature." - Ted Binnema, Historian, University of Northern British Columbia

"A very approachable read on one of Western Canada's most important ongoing issues: the boom/bust community. The book is to be commended for drawing on some of the latest thinking on community resilience and governance, as it provides highly relevant advise for conducting effective community lead action to address the issue." - Michael Gunder, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland

"Boom and Bust: A Guide is a must have for anyone interested in building stronger, more resilient and adaptable communities. The book provides a helpful and accessible framework for understanding how fundamental the stories a community tells about itself are to shaping its future. The lessons here are transferable to any size of community, anywhere is the world." - Bill Given, Mayor, City of Grande Prairie, Alberta

Read the Book

Boom and Bust: A Guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, as an open source resource available for communities and scholars alike. Access the free online version through Issuu.

Paperback copies are coming soon to the University of Alberta bookstore, and are currently available for purchase through the Faculty of Extension for $10.00 plus GST. To order yours, email

Learn More

You can learn more about the project that gave rise to this publication on our dedicated research page.

The Boom and Bust research and guide have generated widespread interest from community partners, scholars, and local media. Check back for links to articles, author interviews, and other related media!