December CRC Newsletter


Welcome to issue 9 of the Community Research Connections Newsletter

On behalf of the CRC team, we wish you and your family a joyous holiday season. We have had a busy Fall going into winter, and this coming year will see some chances to our team. I am delighted to announce that Lenore Newman has been nominated for a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of Fraser Valley. Chris Ling has also accepted an Assistant Professorship with the School of Environment & Sustainability, Royal Roads University and is also leading the second cohort of the Masters in Environmental Management.

In addition, my research assistant and graduate student, Chris Strashok will be teaching Systems Methods for Environmental Management in the Masters of Environment and Management program at Royal Roads University as well as starting with whatIf? Technologies.

Although I will miss my colleagues terribly, as people deeply committed to sustainable development research, we are well aware of the need for release and renewal (Holling, 1986) and will continue to collaborate in different ways in the coming years.

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In This Issue

 Sustainable Cities e-Dialogue series
 New Case Studies
 Community Tools
 CRC Social Media


Sustainable Cities Strategic Review e-Dialogue Series

A series of real-time e-Dialogues are being led with 15 planners from across the country to discuss the key barriers they face and possible solutions for overcoming them, and two have been led this Fall. This conversation is confidential in order to ensure these practitioners can engage in a frank and open discussion.

They are part of a series of e-Dialogues being conducted on behalf of the Sustainable Cities Strategic Review, a joint research collaboration between the Sustainability Solutions Group and my CRC, and is funded by the Capital Regional District and the City of Calgary. The terms of reference for the review are to identify key sustainability issues and barriers facing Canadian municipalities and international best practices helping to address these barriers, and to build a supportive network of people who are working on sustainability in municipalities across Canada.

Although the dialogues are confidential, please review the resulting preliminary scan of international best practices of urban sustainable development found in the Resources section of my CRC's Climate Change project.


New & Upcoming On-Line Case Studies

Two case studies have now been published on the CRC website: QUEST: Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, An Integrated Regional District Energy Systems and the other on a unique co-operative, Co-operatives Insurance Company. Three other case studies are under development—Malmo and Vaxjo, Sweden as part of Dr. Kevin Hanna’s research project Planning for adaptation and resiliency: Canadian local government experiences and needs; another on the Mountain Equipment Co-operative. Other international case studies on London, Sydney, Copenhagen and Seattle will be forthcoming in 2011.

We continue to try and publish information on leadership initiatives by communities in their search for the Holy Grail of sustainable development and on our quest for alternative governance models that are reflective of the changing realities of the 21st century. If you have any ideas about case studies we should pursue, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Community Tools

As part of our commitment to sustainable community development and our belief that an integral part of community development and social innovation is opening space for collaboration, both of our tools created to date, e-Dialogues and the on-line case study tool, are soon to be available through a non-commercial, attributable, share-alike creative commons license Creative Commons Licence.


CRC & Social Media

I continue to actively experiment with social media, and a small team is now in place, of former graduate students, with support from key people in RRU’s media shop, led by Tony Ruffolo. I encourage all of my former graduate students to continue to contribute to our research by sharing your stories and your expertise in implementing sustainable development on-the-ground in your respective careers. Tell us what is working and how you are overcoming barriers, at Conversations from the Edge.


It takes courage to be 'at the edge', so share your knowledge, log in. Just as it takes a community to raise a child, it takes communities everywhere to realize sustainable development in our lifetime, it has never been more urgent