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Title: The Future of Calgary's Community Parks
Other Titles: A political analysis of the public policy debates on use of school reserve land in Calgary
Authors: Berting, Randi
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Citation: Berting, Randi. (2015). The Future of Calgary's Community Parks ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
Abstract: In Alberta, municipal policy regarding the preservation of urban park space has been evolving since legislative changes were made in 2010 to enable municipalities to use surplus school reserve sites for a range of purposes in addition to green space. Many competing demands for these sites have been put forth by a variety of proponents, including citizens and community associations, school boards, the development industry, affordable housing providers and advocates, and municipalities. This capstone project examines the politics that underlie the current public policy debates on these competing uses of municipal park space in Alberta, in particular, the reuse of vacant school reserve sites for affordable housing. The desire to build affordable housing or other community services on Municipal and School Reserve (MSR) lands has arisen as a result of two economic factors: 1) Alberta’s resource-based economy creates a short-run, cyclical volatility in housing demand and pricing; 2) this is exacerbated by the long-term goal of reducing urban sprawl, which puts upward pressure on land costs by restricting the supply of suburban land available for new housing. In Alberta, these factors came together when the “superheated economy” of 2006 and 2007 strained housing supply across the province, doubling house prices in three years, and leaving many with inadequate shelter. One solution that has been embraced by municipal and provincial leaders in both Calgary and Edmonton is the use of vacant school reserve sites for affordable housing. In 2010, legislation was amended to allow vacant school reserve sites to be used for affordable housing or other community services, instead of being used for parks.
Appears in Collections:Master of Public Policy Capstone Projects

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