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Social policy can assist: childcare and school subsidies help with homelessness, increase the workforce, attract young families. Supporting a small downtown clinic can reduce travels and travails for residents. Helping ngo’s to find a presence can trigger a magnifying effect, whereby the ngo’s provide services, advocate for improving local democracy and community development, and contribute by their mere presence to the diversity and attractiveness of the place. Collaboration with other governmental actors, and other players can play a part: retirement homes, schools, courts, a national parks office, a radio station, a cinema. Encouraging those to settle and stay adds to the vibrancy of a downtown, because of their activities, the continuous and diverse use of the space, and the professionals which might become residents.. Too often, many options are overlooked and too many land uses routinely placed outside downtowns -in suburbs, neighbourhoods, or rural settings. Empty spaces elsewhere are seen as easier to develop, and downtowns as a lot of hassle, because of the density of regulations and the complexity of development as re- development. Local governments can help developers and others to overcome these objections, by clearly showing the advantages of a downtown location and by simplifying a move downtown. Preservation of attractive buildings and places, and clean up of ruinous, dangerous and polluted areas can be transitional and encouraging strategies, as well as preventing rampant development and sprawl on the fringe.

8. Innovation/ transition This way of thinking of community development, focusing on innovation and novelty, sees new knowledge and new technologies as a driver of change. Innovation can mean many things, but a common thread in much of this literature is that scientific innovation brings technical innovation, which brings economic innovation and prosperity for the community. As usual, we would say that sometimes this is the case, but not necessarily. Much scientific work is not immediately or visibly useful, or not directly linked to technical work, and economic innovation and success is often disconnected from academic or technical advances. Walmart, for example, did not become the biggest retailer because of more expertise, but because of savvy cost-cutting, ruthless competition, tough negotiating with producers, and a very helpful American home base. Yet, this critique cannot blind us to the benefits and value of innovation strategies. If path and context mapping, including careful

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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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