2016 Planning Field School - Grande Prairie and Calgary
In the spring of 2016, Dr. Agrawal and Dr. Summers took students to Grande Prairie, Calgary and surrounding areas for two weeks of studying planning and other issues in northern and southern Alberta. Throughout the trip, they met with many local leaders and planning experts who gave presentations and/or tours. In the Grande Prairie region, students investigated the regional planning challenges of coordinating growth between the rural municipalities and the City of Grande Prairie. They were also fortunate to have a tour of gas production at a Seven Generations project where they visited a drill rig and fracking operation. The northern portion of their trip ended with a visit to the Phillip J Currie Museum.
In southern Alberta, the highlights included opportunities to meet with Bev Sandlack of the U of C and Rollin Stanley, the Chief Planner for the City of Calgary. Jill Sonego toured students around much of Calgary connecting with planners from the private and public sector who informed students about a range of exciting new projects and planning challenges in Calgary. They visited Canada Land’s Currie Barracks site for an excellent example of new urbanism. They looked at some of the new LRT developments in Calgary, as well as the Harvest Hills Golf Course site where a former golf course was being redeveloped into a residential development. This was a particularly interesting case as the golf course was interwoven into an existing development. The trip ended with a fascinating tour led by Harry Harker who took them to Okotoks and High River (to see the redevelopment after the flood), and the rural areas surrounding Calgary to explore issues of growth management.
The trip was an outstanding success thanks to the contributions of all involved.