Development as Community Strategy

Posted first on the blog of the Edmonton Community Development Company, where I am the Executive Director In my first three months as the executive director of the Edmonton Community Development Company, I estimate I have had over 100 meetings, most of them being one to one conversations or small group discussions about the communities … Continue reading Development as Community Strategy

Automobile-Centric Development and Parking Requirements

Cross posted - also available at Please consider following that blog if you want to keep up to date on my work at the Edmonton Community Development Company. -------- Strong Towns is an American movement that a colleague turned me on to the other day,  and it is not only a provocative movement, it … Continue reading Automobile-Centric Development and Parking Requirements

Trickle-Down Community Engagement

Cross posted at I waspreparing for the community engagement learning event Tamarack was doing in Ottawa last month called Community Engagement: The Next Generation. One of the workshops I wanted to do was on engagement of marginalized populations, in particular those living in poverty. My exploration of this topic led me to some provocative writing by … Continue reading Trickle-Down Community Engagement

Affordable Housing is a solution not a problem

The City of Edmonton has launched a new website about the need for more affordable housing located across the city in order to ensure that all citizens have a safe and affordable place to live. When people have to spend too much of their income on housing, they are forced to let other things go. Often they … Continue reading Affordable Housing is a solution not a problem

We Need More “Human” in “Development”

In an Edmonton Journal article written by David Staples on May 9th, he asked:  “Is Edmonton suffering from a bad case of Big-Shiny-Thing-itis?” Often the answer is in the question, isn’t it? Our community spent $90 million on the Art Gallery. The Arena and the Museum will cost $820 million. Add to that all the … Continue reading We Need More “Human” in “Development”


“Hey Maureen, what do you think about the new hockey arena?” “I don’t think about it. I am too busy. Besides I can’t afford to go to hockey games.” “There’s going to be a lot of big restaurants and a big outside area for eating food and stuff.” “Yeh, I read that.  Can’t afford doing … Continue reading TALKING ABOUT THE ARENA AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT

Watch out for the pendulum swing

Societal and organizational pendulum swings are a metaphor for major change or transformation in thinking and action. They are in and of themselves neither good nor bad, postive nor negative. They tend to reflect as well as point to major trends. We all know the obvious ones: The swing from centralized to decentralized The swing … Continue reading Watch out for the pendulum swing