Introduction

This research project is a continuation from the first five-year Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development (CRC) and is based on what we have learned from the first five years. During this time, we were exploring the dynamic relationship between the meaning of place, limits, scale and diversity for Canadian communities. Place matters very deeply to Canadians, we have a strong identity with the uniquely Canadian landscape of our communities, and it is indeed diverse across the country. We struggle with the scale of our activities that will sustain the characteristics of place we hold dearly, and that brings up the idea of limits to our growth. Is there an optimal scale for at multiple scales—neighbourhood, city, region and what are the new models of governance we need to realize multiple, competing land use and natural resources. And we are losing critical species every day globally.

 

What makes the difference between a community getting by and getting ahead, we believe it is something about vitality, which we are initially defining as the difference between thriving and merely striving. Stay with us, as we experiment, explore and engage in critical conversations about the meaning of vitality for Canadian communities.