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as with other approaches, consider self-study, look for local expertise, and use experts working for higher-level government to inform your approach to sustainability planning. The assumptions, narratives, and ideologies of the advisers deserve close scrutiny.

7. Downtown development/ heritage An old and charming downtown can be a place to do many things. In path analysis, it can show up as an asset, as a carrier of community identity, and in strategy making, it can emerge as a potential driver of reinvention of the community, new and rooted at the same time. Underused downtowns across North America offer space and the possibility of proximity to many activities. The offer hope for mixed-use development (e.g. residential, retail, hospitality), for a quality living environment attracting people and work, and for a more stable community. A physical downtown of a certain age, with some attractive architecture with available space for green and beautification, can serve many purposes. Some versions of community development focus therefore on revitalizing the downtown as the core of a general revitalization. The downtown is the heart — once it starts pumping again, other problems will be solved. Given the concentration problem in boom/bust communities, a vibrant downtown can be a way to work naturally towards diversification, or to keep more options open for future development. A vibrant downtown can be useful in capturing more value from the existing resource, by offering space for more services, catering to resource extraction nearby but also further away. Offering a living environment for people in the industry, so they do not have to live in camps or in very small places where they can’t do much, can similarly allow a town to profit more from resource extraction in the region. Just creating an attractive downtown can thus contribute to the stabilization of the community, even if there is no other strategy yet, no defined goal to diversify for example. A revived downtown can enable a local transformation of the supporting industry, which, over time, can change the main resource industry, or add other economic activities independent from it - downtowns in this view foster capacity building. Downtown development has many faces, some revolving around design standards and restoration incentives, others around tax incentives to attract businesses. Often forgotten in the Canadian West (as in much of North America) are incentives to promote mixed-use development by relaxing local bureaucratic regulations. Empty buildings are often not

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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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