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replacing it or giving its decisions a hint of beauty afterwards. If design is part of governance, then the spatial implications of actions and policies can be better understood. Through manipulation of space in different evolving scenarios, one is also in a better position to determine which combinations of land uses are possible, which spatial structures allow for new goals and can fix new problems. If we allow this in place A, then those things in places B and C will happen; if we change A, B and C through design, then A will actually improve C, and make new activities possible. Choosing a planning or design approach does not give a community all the ideas they need. The strategy needs more content, more substance. That is not a problem, as a planning approach can absorb elements of the other approaches listed below; it remains open for many different substantive choices. For many volatile Canadian communities, we strongly argue for some form of planning approach: spatial planning can improve the quality of the environment, in and around town, and even when not all choices are made initially, starting to work on a cleanup can open many doors, can generate more options for reinvention in the direction a community decides upon. Coordinating action with a focus on preserving and developing spatial and environmental quality becomes logical in a boom & bust environment. We can do many things in space and allow for many future activities and development paths if we reduce environmental damage, preserve qualities or assets, create new qualities, connect assets, and consider opportunities for multi-functional infrastructure. In a spatial planning perspective, any new policy or proposed activity, in any policy domain and any part of the community, has to be tested against not only spatial planning rules, but more importantly, the ideas behind the plan, the type of environment envisioned. If we forget what the underlying idea or story was, why the plan shows this or that, how it represents older strategic choices, then the plan will not guide the community but become constraining and even suffocating. The plan will become a blunt and blind instrument. Rather, one has to ask: does this new opportunity reinforce or undermine our strategy? And how do we respond in planning terms to it, so we can use it to maximum effect? Can we find synergies by a better integration in spatial plans? It is likely then, that both the proposal and the spatial context have to be adjusted: maybe the affordable housing can look different, can be moved a bit, maybe we can reorganize public space and paths in the vicinity.

Part V: Development approaches for inspiration and guidance

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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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