Expanded community list added

As the SCPD project continues to expand, we’re working to update the website. We have now updated the basic demographic information about the communities that are included in the Eastern Canadian expansion of the project. We’re waiting on additional funds to expand further across the Yukon and Northwest Territories. We’ve received support from both Territorial governments as well as the Municipal Governments of Whitehorse and Yellowknife.

Dr. Van Assche and Dr. Gruezmacher are heading to Newfoundland in early spring to begin interviews and hold some workshops for the Eastern expansion.

In Mexico at Alternativas Verdes – Eficiencia Energetica Conference

Excited to be in Moroles, Mexico as a panelist for the Alternativas Verdes Eficiencia Energetica Conference. The session is Resilience & Infrastructure: Preparing our Cities for the Future. Four great speakers – should make for a really interesting discussion about resiliency in our cities. SCPD is thrilled to be here!

I will post full slides later!


Updated Panelist Appearances

On Friday, I was a panelist at the Designing Resilience Conference held in the Peter Lougheed Hall at the University of Alberta. Supported by European Centre of Excellence, the German Consulate in Vancouver, The Vice-President (Research) Office, and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study, this one-day event brought Canadian and German experts together to discuss some key questions:

How can climate change policy be designed to be resilient, making it immune to political and economic shocks?

What are the consequences of climate change policy for communities, and what role can cities play in its implementation?

Lots of great conversation and input. A great day!

Lots of presentation from the group in SCPD!

The last few months have involved lots of presentations from the Sustainable Community Planning Development group. Over the next several months, we’re involved in organizing a conference at the University of Alberta, speaking as a panelist on a conference on Resilient Communities and Climate Change, and both the Canadian and American National Geography Conferences (2018). Additionally, funding is being sought to formally expand the project to include case studies from Canada’s North – using Whitehorse and Yellowknife as case studies.

Here are a list of a few of the presentations over the last six months:

Deacon, L., Papineau, J., Lamanes, T. June 28, 2017. Transiency, Fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) Workers and Sustainability: Perceptions from Within a Resource-Based Community, International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning. Bristol, United Kingdom.

*Deacon, L., Van Assche, K., Gruezmacher, M. May 31, 2017. Planning for Resiliency: Speculation and Resource-Based Communities, Canadian Association of Geographers Conference. Toronto, Canada.

Van Assche, K., *Deacon, L., Gruezmacher, M. May 31, 2017. Is this sustainability? Making a Case for Planning, Canadian Association of Geographers. Toronto, Canada.

*Deacon, L., Van Assche, K., Gruezmacher, M. April 8, 2017. Tempering the Cycles of Boom/Bust: Lessons from Western Canada, American Association of Geographers. Session organizer: Resource-based communities and resiliency: a case for planning). Boston, United States.

*Van Assche, K., Gruzmacher, M., Deacon, L. March 2017. Local development strategy and the importance of institutional work- observations from western Canada, Learning and innovation in resilient systems, INOGOY European network, Heerlen, Netherlands.

*Van Assche, K., Deacon, L March 2017. Long term perspectives in governance: variations and functions towards sustainability. Seminar Series Presentation at Bremen University, ZMT Institute, Bremen, Germany.

*Van Assche, K., Deacon, L., March 2017. Strategies for dealing with ups and downs in communities: possibilities and limitations. Learning from complexity theory. Presentation in lecture series ‘Complexity and planning’, Groningen University, Groningen, Netherlands.

Deacon, L., March 4, 2017. Is this Sustainability? Making the case for planners and municipal planning departments, Western Division of Canadian Geographers. Abbottsford, Canada

Deacon, L. January 22, 2017. Sustainability? Sustainable Community Planning Development, University of Alberta Student Sustainability Summit (invited). Edmonton, Canada.

Deacon, L. 2016. Panellist. Small Town Big Business Initiative, John’s, Newfoundland.

Deacon, L. 2016. Sustainable Community Planning Development: a Canadian Case Study, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

Dr. Van Assche et al. editors for a special edition of Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning

Power/ knowledge and natural resource management

— Special issue of Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning: published

[All articles open access for a while: please share with friends and connections.  If links below don’t work — please use attach]
Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen, Martijn Duineveld

This special issue of Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning draws the attention to ongoing concerns about the management of natural resources (NRM): their exploration, extraction, processing, and commodification is still happening in ways that are perceived to be socially unjust and ecologically unsustainable. This special issue seeks to highlight how the Foucaultian notion of power/knowledge remains underused and underdeveloped in the realm of environmental and resource governance. The contributors argue that any improvement in NRM to social justice or sustainability will have to pass through the knot of power/knowledge. Revealing the actual functioning and effects of current NRM opens potential for critical thinking, shifts power relations and questions the core assumptions of experts or economic outcomes.

Content of the special issue:
Power/Knowledge in Natural Resource Management

The will to knowledge: natural resource management and power/knowledge dynamics
Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen & Martijn Duineveld

Partnerships for development in the extractive sector: protecting subterranean interests?
Javier Arellano-Yanguas & María del Pilar Bernal-Gómez

Small-scale fisheries within maritime spatial planning: knowledge integration and power
Svein Jentoft

Natural capital and the political economy of wetland governance in Alberta
Marian Weber, Naomi Krogman, Lee Foote & Rebecca Rooney

Cat- alysing attunement
Jean Hillier
Governing the water user: experiences from Mexico
Edwin Rap & Philippus Wester

Power/knowledge and natural resource management: Foucaultian foundations in the analysis of adaptive governance
Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen , Martijn Duineveld & Monica Gruezmacher

Materiality in natural resource management: a systems theory view
Vladislav Valentinov

Been a busy few months

It’s been a busy few months in terms of presentations and getting some of the work done by SCPD out. There was a session organized in Boston at the 2017 American Association of Geographers on resource dependency and planning. A presentation on the role of speculation on real estate in resource based communities was also given. In May, at the 2017 Canadian Association of Geographers Conference at York University in Toronto, two presentations were given. The first was an extension of the presentation from Boston on the role of Speculation and the second was on the release of the second version of our book which was released by the Association of European Schools of Planning.

In June, I gave a presentation in Bristol, Uk at the International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning conference on the work that SUPD has been examining. There were some great questions and a good discussion after.

I am heading to the Association of European Schools of Planning (www.aesop2017.pt) conference to attend and give a presentation on our newest article examining the role of planning and planners as a stabilizing factor in resource-based communities experiencing rapid growth and development.

New book out!

I am pleased to announce that a new publication is available online via InPlanning:

Title: Boom & Bust: Local strategy for big events – a community survival guide to turbulent times
Authors: Van Assche, Deacon, Gruezmacher, Summers, Lavoie, Jones, Granzow, Hallstrom, Parkins

Link: Boom & Bust

Van Assche, K., Deacon, L., and Gruezmacher, M., Summers, R. J., Lavoie, S., Jones, K. E., Granzow, M., Hallstrom, L., and Parkins, J. 2017. Boom & Bust Local Strategy for Big Events: a community survival guide to turbulent times. Porto, Portugal: Association of European Schools of Planning (ASEOP). DOI: 10.17418/B.2017.9789491937330. 256 pages.

Great news!! Funding secured!!!

Great news! Funding has been secured to expand the Sustainable Community Planning Development project. I would like to thank the Kule Institute for Advance Study (KIAS) for their support of the project. The new communities will be spread across the North West Territories and Newfoundland. I would like to thank the Municipality of Yellowknife, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Dr. Keith Storey, Mark Shrimpton, and Michael Clair for supporting the project.

Details to come in the near future.



Article available online

A quick update, a recent article “Fort McMurray and the Canadian oil sands: Local Coverage of National Importance” written by Jake Papineau and Leith Deacon is now available online via the Environmental Communication website. The complete article can be found at this address:  http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/bSMxcbCWC68mtzsNiKip/full

The abstract is:  Understanding resource-based communities (RBCs) as potential casualties of Canada’s economic proclivity towards resource extraction projects may help us to generate political support for these communities at both local and national scales. The media has a critical role to play in promoting the development of this type of political discourse. This study examines how traditional print media coverage affects Canadians’ perceptions of the Athabasca oil sands. A quantitative media analysis examines scope and thematic content of articles appearing in major Canadian newspapers between 2003 and 2013. We find that most coverage concerning the Athabasca oil sands over this period appears predominantly in western Canadian newspapers, with coverage primarily focusing on specific events. We argue that this geographic disparity in coverage does not provide Canadians with the adequate coverage necessary to develop an informed opinion on what the implications of ongoing oil sands development are at both a local and a national scale.


Welcome to Sustainable Community Planning Development!

Welcome to the Sustainable Community Planning Development website!!!

This is the the first blog-entry post for our new research blog.

This page is designed to act as a space that can be accessed by anyone interested in issues related to concepts of resiliency, sustainability, planning, and community development.

Our research project is conducting work examining these concepts from a broad perspective as they relate to resource-based communities. Thus far we have visited 14 communities across Canada and have conducted over 120 interviews with local stakeholders, politicians, and policy-makers.

The central goal of this project is to examine the concept of resiliency within the context of resource-based communities to address the often problematic relationship(s) between resource reliance, community well-being, and adaptive capacity.

This blog will be used as a medium to highlight to most recent publications, results, advice or updates related to the project.

Thank you for visiting and we look forward to updating the blog soon!