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Soul of the City Speaker Series

Research shows that today’s younger generation chooses their city first and their job second.  Now, more than ever before, this puts pressure on cities to compete on the basis of quality of life and has earned "place-making" a seat at the table of economic development and city planning.

Cities are regarded as important catalysts for social inclusion, intercultural exchange and economic development. Due to greater worker mobility, global cities are competing to retain their most creative residents and to attract talented newcomers. Only by understanding the needs of their citizens and by providing them with a high quality of life, can cities appeal to the 'creative classes' and prosper by fostering greater social cohesion. 

With Calgary facing difficult economic times, now is the time to have this discussion and showcase Calgary’s soul.

The Soul of the City speaker series aims to engage Calgarians and spark conversations about further developing Calgary’s ‘soul.’

The series was kicked off on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 with Dr. Katherine Loflin, a recognized leader in place-making and the human side of place, examining what makes people love where they live and why it matters.  In this series opener, she discussed how place optimization that recognizes and honours a place's 'soul' has become a critical component in the sustainability and success of communities. Using empirical findings from place-based projects Dr. Loflin has worked on, as well as examples from across the United States, she presented key lessons in place optimization and emerging best practices in place-making.

 Soul of the City sessions have covered topics such as sustainability, community-minded commerce, urban design, art, food, music, culture, creativity, education, poverty and diversity.

Register today for the next Soul of the City event! 

Calgary Economic Development, in partnership with Calgary Foundation and RBC Foundation present Soul of the City Neighbour Grants Celebration and 2017 Kick Off. In 2016, five grants of $10,000 were awarded to Calgarians who put into action their ideas to improve, enhance, and revitalize their community or neighbourhood. Join us as we screen poignant documentaries illustrating how these amazing individuals worked together and overcame obstacles to make their ideas come to life.


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