Sustainable Cities

The Future of Affordable Housing

This international research initiative aims to create an engaging platform for housing practitioners and researchers to explore planning and design innovation for better housing futures. The focus is on mixed-income affordable housing in Canadian and global cities. International conferences, publications and design exhibitions bring a rich collection of evidence-based research on innovative models of affordable housing for resilient communities. The research from Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC, San Francisco, Amsterdam, London and Paris can inspire city authorities to improve density, diversity and the public realm to create sustainable, competitive and attractive local communities.

The research received the CMHC President’s Gold Medal in 2019. It is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, CMHC and a number of project partners.

Social Housing

Sustainable Cities in a Globalizing World

Twenty years after the Rio Earth Summit, the challenge — and the opportunities — of sustainable development are more relevant than ever. Economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity dominate the global discourse with people being at the center of our vision of a more sustainable world. The Sustainable Cities Symposium will explore global challenges and opportunities in addressing sustainable development. It

will provide insights into planning and design solutions in different cities and serve as a platform for discussions, experience sharing and networking. The project is supported by CASID (Canadian Association for International Development Studies).

Social Housing

A Renaissance of Social Housing in Europe? New Policy Instruments and Provision Models

The research project aims to provide an overview of social housing provision in Europe focusing on the policy and practice of six conceptually appropriate case studies—the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, England, the Czech Republic and Poland. These are examples of unitary housing systems with sustained investment in new social housing provision, a robust range of private and non-profit housing providers, and a wide range of fiscal and regulatory instruments enhancing the competitive performance of the social housing sector.

The project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Energy Efficiency

Sustainability in New Communities: Mahogany

This community planning project was completed by first-year students under the supervision of Dr Tsenkova. The students developed a Community Plan for Mahogany—a suburban community for 24,000 people in Southeast Calgary applying the principles of sustainable development and smart growth. The analytical framework used builds upon the concepts of comprehensive community planning to integrate planning policies and design recommendations for important aspects of the community—housing, retail and employment, transit, schools, community facilities, and open spaces. The project provided real-life experience and an opportunity to test planning theory in practice. A publication Places and People: Planning New Communities, demonstrates the importance of effective collaboration with planning and design professionals in the process of planning education.

The project is sponsored by Hopewell Residential Communities and Ollerenshaw Enterprise Ltd.

New Communities

Effectiveness in the Implementation of Sustainable Community Plans

The City of Calgary has adopted a number of high-level directive policies to promote the implementation of sustainable principles through land use and transportation planning, including the Sustainable Suburbs Study directly related to suburban development. It encourages developers, city departments and other stakeholders to develop more sustainable communities. The purpose of the research, sponsored by the City of Calgary, is to analyse the degree of compliance with sustainable policies in the development of new communities. The project proposes a sustainability evaluation framework and applies it systematically to main planning policy objectives and results achieved in five new communities in Calgary. The evaluation process highlights the significance of the performance gap between planning policy and the built environment.


Affordable Housing and the Integration Experiences of Immigrant Seniors: Insights from Two Neighborhoods in Calgary

The project considers the experiences of senior immigrants from a social, economic, physical and public policy perspective with a particular emphasis on access to affordable housing. The research uses qualitative methods (interviews and focus groups) to explore two thematic clusters of issues: family and interpersonal relationships and housing conditions of immigrant seniors in two neighbourhoods in Calgary. Drawing on the experiences of senior immigrants of Chinese and Punjabi descent, the study provides practical recommendations for planning policy development and community-based solutions.

Project funded through PEOPLE AND PLACE, a collaborative initiative of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and the Faculty of Social Work.

Area Structure

Area Structure Plan for the Hamlet of Groard

The Cities, Policy & Planning Lab continues its partnership with the MD of Big Lakes. Previous projects include Economic Development Strategy and Tourism Opportunities Strategy for the MD and Area Structure Plan for the Hamlet of Faust. Our new project is assisting the municipal administration in the development of an Area Structure Plan for the Hamlet of Groard. This collaborative effort draws on a variety of techniques (SWOT analysis, interviews, charettes and open houses) to profile community needs and to define the opportunities for future development. Students work with faculty, professional planners and community members.

Project sponsored by the Municipal District of Big Lakes.


Planning Sustainable Cities Initiative

The Planning Sustainable Cities Initiative is an imperative contribution to the knowledge, skills and values of current and future planners, business, political, community, and environmental design practitioners. It will generate public debate on economic, social and environmental issues of great importance to our cities and the global agenda of the 21st century. Beginning in the term of 2007, the Planning Program at EVDS will bring to the University of Calgary recognized experts who are dedicated to understanding the interrelationships between people and their built and natural surroundings. Topics to be covered include best practices in sustainable community planning, ecologically-sensitive development, planning for sustainable regeneration of downtown and suburban communities, new forms of governance to manage urban growth, and the challenge of triple-bottom-line (financial, environmental, social) to the livability of our cities.

Project supported by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, the City of Calgary and private donors.