Page 12

systems of decision-making is also not an option. Both radical participation, based exclusively on social learning and local knowledges, and central bureaucratic steering, based on expert knowledges, are forms of governance which do not work in isolation. In the following chapters we instead point to the need to expect complexity and uncertainty, to reconsider the value and meaning of different forms of knowledge and decision-making processes and look beyond a black and white view of any one approach. Certain experts might contribute in some ways, while in other instances citizen participation can support positive learning and lead to innovations in governance. We honour both local and expert learning, and encourage communities to engage in design processes that combine the two. In this guidebook, we will focus on learning in the context of communities in Western Canada, sharing what we consider important to keep in mind during community development planning. Gradually, we intend to develop a more complete picture of how learning can support local governance, and how it can help communities find a way out of the boom and bust cycle. The first step towards realizing a possible better future is understanding the processes, history, and tools of effective governance, and then identifying which forms of knowledge and expertise are currently at work in your community. This requires learning more about ourselves, about our community, how it works, its past, present, and its vision for the future. We begin by discussing important concepts for analyzing community development or evolution. With this background, we will define what we mean by boom and bust. We will discuss the skills we deem essential for analyzing community development, and share our method for self-analysis, path and context mapping. The later sections focus on strategic community planning, featuring commonly used mainstream approaches, as well as our own recommendations for strategy development. We finish by highlighting key elements discussed throughout the guide and sharing some reflections on our experience working with communities in Western Canada. Both the analytic components and the ideas for strategy development are useful beyond Western Canada. In the course of the text it will become clear that Alberta and British Columbia show such intensity and variation of ups and downs, of community types and reactions, of strategies and missed opportunities, that they offer a rich laboratory for the rest of the world.

v

Boom and Bust: a guide

Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Advertisement