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those centers. The business community, an informal leadership circle in Calgary, is not fully a community, and does not, even informally, represent the needs, priorities, or long-term perspectives of the broader community. Planning for quality urban spaces for the long-term remains fragile when leaning on that fragmented group of high earners. • These kinds of relationships between transient and community-oriented perspectives have very real implications for how communities respond to change. One can distinguish two kinds of social networks — bonding (the connections within a group) and bridging (the connections between groups). If there is not a good balance between both bonding and bridging connections, homophily (described in chapter 12) begins to limit the opportunities for new ideas, new connections, and new solutions to collective or public problems.

4. Bust aftermath When things go badly, when the bust comes, there are a few typical responses. Often, all will forget about the previous cycles, and a realistic assessment of strengths and weaknesses is barely present. If there is little attachment to the place, people will move out fast. As an Edmonton historian told us: “I like it better here during the bust. Only people who want to be here, stay. And I tend to like those people better. They plant roots and create memories.” Those who could be most useful for a reinvention of the place can usually leave more easily: highly educated people, skilled people, rich people, people with connections. At the same time, some of the most damaging characters also tend to leave, those who had encouraged the dream of the eternal boom; some of whom had lost, others won, but none of whom have a real reason to stay. A retired Edmonton developer shared: “Yes, short-term perspectives, and wild west attitudes, those were and are still very common among developers. People suddenly called themselves developer, with little skill and money, and they wanted and needed to make a profit very fast. On the other hand, those attitudes can be productive as well, for a while. Most of those guys are not here anymore, however. They went bankrupt a few times, and moved to another place or another type of business.”

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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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