We are now at a stage in human society where natural and human systems are co-evolving, and their dynamic sustainability (Newman 2005) is interdependent. The continuing decline in ecosystem services shows that communities everywhere need to act now to maintain and enhance these essential services to human life. Human progress may now rely on our ability to deliberatively re-design our communities in new ways (Dale 2001; Dale and Onyx 2005; Cote, Tansey, Dale 2005).

Key to any re-design strategies and ultimately sustainable community development are critical public policy questions about the nature of limits, the meaning of place, issues of scale and diversity. Join Dr. Ann Dale’s Canada Research Chair team as they converse on-line about these four research themes. These dialogues will not be archived, as they are designed to be informal conversations, brainstorming each of the four research themes and sharing with younger scholars the joys and tensions of interdisciplinary research. Join the on-line audience and pose your own questions to the research team.

Tune in on the third Thursday of every month, starting January 19th, 2006, for vibrant on-line conversations about the meaning of sustainable community development in Canada.

Part 1: Limits  

Community decisions are highly pluralistic and normative, and can only be decided by sharing and Limitslearning strategies in the community, and sustained dialogue and enhanced civic literacy around critical questions of limits. There is no one clear, simple measure, it is very dependent on what a particular community values and defines as its needs. Are there critical biophysical limits for sustainable community development? Are these limits plastic or absolute?  How can these limits be determined? How flexible are these limits, are they brittle or plastic?

Part 1: Limits Panelists 

Dr. Ann DaleDr. Ann Dale, Trudeau Fellow
Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, Royal Roads University
Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
Canada Research Chair on Sustainable Community Development

Dr. Dale is a rare hybrid, both an academic and an activist. Currently she is engaged in two major research initiatives at Royal Roads University. First, she is leading the e-Dialogues for Sustainable Development, a series of online dialogues exploring critical issues using the power of the internet to influence public policy. Second, she is working on exploring the relationship between social capital and sustainable community development. In 2001, she received the Policy Research Initiative's Outstanding Research Contribution Award for her most recent book, At the Edge: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century.


Dr. Rob VanWynsbergheDr. Rob VanWynsberghe is a Professor with the School of Environment and Sustainability, Faculty of applied Social Sciences, Royal Roads University.

Rob has spent 10 years integrating research, teaching and service. His research focus is social sustainability. The common theme in all of this research is the socio-cultural properties and mechanisms for sustainable and healthy communities. Publications include a book on the subject of environmental justice and First Nations, as well as articles on the environmental movement, community engagement, integrated assessment, behaviour change, and co-housing. Rob is currently working on creating a Learning City at the Great Northern Way campus in Vancouver.


Dr. Lenore NewmanDr. Lenore Newman is a writer, teacher and researcher living in Ottawa. She grew up in a small coastal community in British Columbia and has a long standing interest in the environment. Lenore has a background in physics, complex systems theory, human geography, social change, and sustainability. Her doctorate is from York university; it examined theoretical aspects of sustainability in rapidly changing societies. Her research interests include sustainability at the community level and sustainable technology including biomimicry, the modeling of technology upon ecological systems.

Lenore is also interested in virtual communities, ecological effects of globalization, and the politics of gender. When Lenore is not on-line, she is likely outdoors.


Dr. Levi WaldronDr. Levi Waldron is a post-doctoral fellow living in Toronto, Ontario. He grew up in the interior of British Columbia, where he completed grade 7 by a combination of home schooling and a one-room elementary school. He went on to UBC for a B.Sc. in physics, then to the University of Waterloo for a M.Sc. in physics, doing quantum calculations of hydrogen molecular spectra. At this point, his growing interest in and concern for the environment led him to complete a Ph.D. in forestry and environmental studies at the University of Toronto, modeling the leaching of wood preservatives from pressure-treated wood. Levi has many research interests including global warming, transportation, implementing sustainability at the community level, and open-source software and development.
He also enjoys canoeing, bike repair and activism, and generally getting involved in his community.


Yuill HerbertYuill Herbert, a CRC board member, is originally from Salmon Arm, BC. He is currently involved in a community land trust in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. He writes for and serves on the Board of the Dominion, a grassroots national newspaper. Yuill is also a founding member of a BC-based worker's cooperative called Sustainability Solutions Group whose work involves sustainability assessments for universities and other institutions.

His personal research focuses on the relationship between trade and the environment and on the cultural and spiritual linkages between humans and nature.