The Soul of the City speaker series was kicked off on 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. Since then, the Soul of the City speaker series have covered community-centric topics such as sustainability, commerce, urban design, art, food, music, culture, creativity, education, poverty and diversity.
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.