By Brian Conger Urban Policy Program, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary and Jyoti Gondek, Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary
As part of the Congress 2016 exciting line-up of events, the University of Calgary will host six Interdisciplinary symposia to exhibit the university’s most compelling and leading-edge thinking and research. This article is part of a six-part series showcasing each event, all of which are open to Congress attendees and the general public.
On Thursday, June 2, 2016 The School of Public Policy’s Urban Policy Program, in partnership with the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the Haskayne School of Business, will join forces to present a panel discussion Energizing cities: The role and future of community associations.
Brian Conger, Urban Policy Program, The School of Public Policy and Jyoti Gondek, Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies, Haskayne School of Business answered some questions to give more information about what their event is all about.
Q. What are we talking about when we talk about the role of community associations?
A: Calgary’s 150 community associations (CAs) are an integral part of the fabric of the city. CAs command the attention of over 20,000 volunteers who contribute thousands of hours of public service annually. CA facilities provide an essential space for social activities and programs throughout the city, playing a major part in energizing Calgary’s neighbourhoods. They also have an important role in reviewing and commenting on proposed land use and development plans.
Q. Why is this discussion important?
A: Unlike home owner and residents’ associations in Calgary’s newer communities, CAs have the power to influence land use decisions and are routinely involved in the creation and refinement of planning guidelines in their respective neighbourhoods. In this role, CAs are a grassroots theatre for citizen participation and have become a powerful force in community development, often leading to concerns over NIMBYism in the face of potential change. This panel will discuss the role CAs play in the city as both service provider and facility operator, as well as neighbourhood planning watchdog.
Q. What is the format of the presentation?
A: The program will begin with a presentation based on a research paper on the role and future of community associations, by authors Brian Conger and Jyoti Gondek. Following the presentation, a panel will discuss the issues raised, and the panelists and authors will also take questions from attendees.
The panelists are:
- Ward 8 Councilor Evan Woolley, City of Calgary
- Jamal Ramjohn, Manager, Community Planning, City of Calgary
- Leslie Evans, Executive Director, Federation of Calgary Communities
Q. Who should attend?
A: The event is open to registered Congress 2016 attendees and the general public. Specifically, municipal decision-makers and professionals in the field of planning and development will be interested in attending. Community advocates and those interested in municipal policy, as well as members of the community concerned with how cities provide services and how they are governed will all enjoy participating in this discussion.
Photo caption: Jyoti Gondek, Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary and Brian Conger Urban Policy Program, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary will present a panel discussion Energizing cities: The role and future of community associations during Congress 2016. Photo courtesy of Riley Brandt.