SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
How might we expand the working lifespan of business buildings in the Calgary core?
Cooper Holmes & Randall Sole
Cities never stop growing. The idea of the modern city, as expansive and impressive as it may be, doesn’t come without trouble. In the case of Calgary, the city has began to spread; boundaries are being pushed because of our abundance of resources, and our lack of city planning allows it to happen without resistance.
The resulting damage comes in the form of abandoned buildings, large and vacant lots that are seeing little to no use, and spaces that are sucking up costs. Through the establishment of a more useful downtown core partnered with refined and effective building policies, the downtown core can become a cultural hub as well as a working city centre.
How might we encourage homeless individuals living in Calgary to move towards a more stable life through community initiatives and involvement?
Homelessness is a state of living, not a category of people. No matter their race, gender, ethnicity, opinions or choices, all people deserve respect, dignity and support within their community. Calgary is working towards the eradication of homelessness, but the road to doing so is long and complicated.
Calgary has multiple initiatives and efforts in place to assist individuals in getting out of the homeless cycle. Even with the help of the city, independent organizations, government and volunteers, there is still a gap in the system’s structure. This gap offers the opportunity for our city and communities to discover solutions to help improve the lives of homeless individuals and keep them out of the homeless cycle.
How might we create safe, collaborative and cross-cultural learning opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at a university level?
University campuses in Canada have an opportunity to be leaders in reconciliation and indigenization. There are challenges in introducing Indigenous knowledge in a way that is safe, immersive and integrative for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Universities can look at creating opportunities that bring people together rather than put individuals in a position of discomfort or defense.
Academic introductory courses are not enough as, due to administrative decisions or lack of awareness, there are not enough scheduled Indigenous Studies classes. Rather, lessons can be taught outside of the classroom using both innovative and familiar ways of teaching and learning. These opportunities can break down barriers and allow students to build familiarity, empathy and cross-cultural understanding, paving the way to discussing more sensitive and difficult topics.