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comparison of alternative scenario’s. If informality is a strong component of a strategy, local leadership has to provide continuity to glue the formal and informal attribures and tools together into a coherent strategy. • A small BC town has been planning for decades, without ever drawing a formal plan, without ever translating a general strategy into many formal policies. Their choice was to remain in the sphere of the informal, to create new actors and access new resources, and to assume that a local elite would stay in place for a while, that a local consensus about key points of identity and diversification would remain in place for a considerable time. The translation of the core vision into one formal institution was considered by key players a waste of time, inefficient, and above all, disruptive, attracting critique too easily, of the vision, and of their position. • Community plans or strategies have as a major advantage that they can integrate multiple formal and informal policies and other plans easily, translating them into a coherent multi-functional space. Sketch plans, exploratory exercises during strategizing, can serve as research and discussion tools, to compare alternatives and explore options. If however, there is strong resistance against a comprehensive planning approach, then leaders can still fall back on an informal strategy without entirely abandoning the idea of plans. Within the informal strategy, smaller projects can emerge where planning can play a role. The greater vision exists only in the minds of leadership but partial visions can be more public, more detailed, more planned. • Vancouver, BC opted for a significant period of city planning, in the form of smart growth strategies, in the 1980s. Vancouver was also the site for Expo 87 — a massive event that had a huge impact on the planning, growth, and infrastructural nature of the city. The Expo and an already changing local planning discourse together explain the rather special smart growth choice, special for North America in those days, when the American property rights movement and president Reagan’s policies of deregulation and privatization were in effect undermining older planning tools. The term “smart growth” itself was a rebranding of American planning in a more pro-development environment, hence the emphasis on “growth”, rather than “planning”. Vancouver had the benefit of being in Canada, of having a population generally sensitive to environmental quality and of being surrounded by mountains and sea, making the argument for planning stronger and easier to digest. In addition, many immigrants wanted to live in that mildest

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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...

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