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Dan Riskin ('97 BSc), host of the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet.
Every semester, the School of Urban and Regional Planning takes students into the field to visit one urban and one less urban location to view community planning and development in the real world.
The 2018 field school to Calgary and Edmonton was organized around the themes of urban natures, urban histories and downtown redevelopment. A total of 14 HGP students participated in the school led by Dr. Damian Collins and Duncan Fraser, Sessional Instructor.
In Calgary, our focus was on events and developments near downtown, starting with the disastrous 2013 flood which caused billions of dollars damage. We then toured the rapidly revitalizing East Village neighbourhood, documenting condo development and touring Calgary's Drop-In Centre, the largest homeless shelter in Canada. Other site visits included the outstanding Studio Bell - home of Canada's National Music Centre, the world-famous Calgary Zoo, and the city's extensive +15 (elevated pedway) network. Our southern tour also included one day visiting the towns of Okotoks and High River, to consider water issues.
The second week involved exploring Edmonton, including an examination of the ICE District and a behind-the-scenes tour of Roger's Place by Bob Black, Executive Vice President Edmonton Arena Corporation. We also considered the development of commercial space and pedways from the perspectives of Olympia Trencevski, General Manager Oxford Properties, and Tom Beck, Principal
Planner with the City of Edmonton. The theme of nature was explored via a tour of the river valley, including the new funicular, and the Valley Zoo. Urban histories were considered at Rossdale Cemetery, the Hotel Macdonald, and the Alberta Legislature.
Special thanks to the many professionals and volunteers who lent their time to speak with our group!