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Welcome to Community Research Connections Issue 7
Dear friends and colleagues.
On behalf of myself and the members of our CRC Research Team, thank you for another year of support for our work.
Thanks to the funding by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Canada Research Chairs Program, we have made significant progress in our work on agency, community resilience and social capital.
It has certainly been a busy six months. We submitted two research proposals, a CURA letter of intent, a public outreach grant and we led three e-Dialogues. We also have two publications in press, one entitled The 'Agency' of Sustainable Community Development (Community Development Journal) and the other entitled, Community vitality: The role of community-level resilience, adaptation, and innovation in sustainable development (Sustainability).
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a joyous holiday season, and hope that this time will be filled with peace, joy and happiness.
Ann Dale, Trudeau Fellow (2004)
Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development
Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability
Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
Royal Roads University
|OTTAWA: Redesign & Transition
A Capital City of the Future or a Capital Backwater?
Our most recent on-line discussion brought together policy experts, activists and planners to talk about the steps in designing a sustainable plan for Ottawa that will ensure the city's vitality in the event of peak oil, climate change and more diverse opportunities for development.
The expert panel agreed that Ottawa needs a strong vision to work towards, similar to that of Vancouver's Bright Green Future. This means that Ottawa needs to develop a sustainable transportation strategy, as the current system is dysfunctional, and diverse transit options are part of liveability linked to walkability.
As well, Ottawa is one of the few major cities in this country without a permanent indoor local market, and amenities such as this and green space are critical attractors for Florida's creative class. The proposed re-development of Lansdowne Park was also featured, and the wisdom of converting public spaces into private development was hotly debated. The panel emphasized the importance of due process and that the plan must be citizen led in order to ensure its implementation throughout the city. The full conversation is available HERE. .
Challenges of a Community Selection Process
Our October 2009 e-Dialogue explored the role of community engagement in the siting process for a used nuclear fuel facility, critiquing the Nuclear Waste Management Organization's (NWMO) released draft report "Selection Process for Siting a Used Nuclear Fuel Repository."
Expert panelists identified some outstanding questions, such as, will the process extend to communities along transportation routes and should the community process also consider the impacts of the facility on the host community during the construction and operation phase. A number of tools and techniques were proposed for the engagement process including green and stakeholder mapping, design charettes and search conferences. Two distinct engagement challenges were identified: what constitutes an effective community engagement and due process, and what are the local, provincial and federal roles and responsibilities. A final report is available for you to 'listen in'
|WHAT IS AGENCY?
As part of my SSHRC research project on agency
a conversation on its meaning was held between members of the Advisory Research Committee to the project on November 19th, 2009. We invite you to 'listen in' online as we discuss whether or not human agency is an a priori condition to empowerment, whether it manifests intrinsically or extrinsically, and our attempts to define it. Learn more HERE.
Please plan on joining us February 2, 2010 (3:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. PT)
The importance of social science research to Canada's innovation and competitiveness is not well understood and is seriously underfunded in this country.
Listen in to the President of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation discuss with leading-edge researchers from across the country the contributions the social sciences have made and are making in Canada. After all, the greatest challenge is not necessarily one of scientific or managed origin, rather "it is about dealing with people and their diverse cultures, interests, visions, priorities and needs" (Norgaard, 1994).
This e-Dialogue is being led in partnership with the Trudeau Alumni Association. We would appreciate if you would share this announcement widely with your own networks and your students.
|CANADA RESEARCH CHAIRS RENEWAL I am pleased to announce that my Canada Research Chair was renewed for another five years and I would again like to express my appreciation for funding to the Canada Research Chairs Program. As part of the renewal, under the leadership of Dr. Chris Ling, we are developing a Community Vitality Index and we have started a partnership with the International Institute of Sustainable Development and the United Way in Winnipeg.
The Community Vitality Index will develop an understanding of what makes a community thrive - going from getting by to getting ahead. Initial work will examine the components of vitality and what might be the indicators of it. What characteristics of a community are important for stimulating society and economy and creating relationship with the ecology; what are the origins and signs of a vital community? A website with an interactive component will be devised for launch in the spring/summer 2010.
|Congratulations Winners! We want to thank everyone who completed our online Community Liveability Survey. Your responses will help us better understand the links between our fellow Canadians, the places we live, and the degree to which we are involved in our communities.
Congratulations to the following people who were randomly selected to receive a free iPod for completing the survey:
Rick Lounglin, Orleans, ON
John Jacobus Rietveld, Ottawa, ON
Kevin Sinclair, Regina, SK
Thomas Skuce, Kitchener, ON