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Sustainable City for a Sustainable People

Calgary’s oil boom years began in the late 70’s and lasted up until the beginning of the 21st century. In those years, Calgary was known as one of the fastest growing cities in North America. Today, those oil boom years are considered a thing of the past, although this doesn’t mean that Calgary isn’t on a track to becoming a more sustainable city in order to help ease the global climate crisis.

Sustainable Calgary tracks the long-term success in sustainability in fields like education, community, wellness, resource use, and community. These fields work as indicators to measure just how sustainable Calgary really is.

State of our City 2020 reports that Calgarians feel a strong sense of community and have reported being more physically active in recent years. Calgary has seen ebbs and flows in things like crime rate and arts and culture attendance, however Calgary now faces the challenge of a pandemic–a crisis in which more urgency is required in improving social equity, ensuring an equitable and resilient economy, as well as putting greater efforts in towards protecting the ecology of natural environments.

In a strong sense, this has shined a light on the ways in which Calgary lags in terms of sustainability. As a result of this pandemic, more social inequalities have risen to the surface, especially for those who receive a more sparse income. These circumstances have manifested some .

There have been record highs in terms of unemployment, as a result we have become more aware of these issues, and have brought them to the forefront. The way that a city can protect its citizens is a good measure of any city’s integrity.

Steps Moving Forward

So one may ask, what are some steps that we can take moving forward with the sustainability of our city? Well, overall we need to assemble an economic system that allows all citizens to live within their means both in terms of the economy and from an ecological standpoint. This means to create jobs from the inside out. This also means to create more bicycle and city transit routes, whilst maintaining shorter distances between central areas to enable shorter walking distances.

Additionally, to create more sustainability, there needs to be more adequate counselling and education on addressing mental illness. Contributions that we can make to well-being, have a direct impact on our social capital, or otherwise known as, the effective functions of social groups.

These all seem like reasonable approaches going forward in order to ensure that Calgary approaches a sustainable future that isn’t supported by the oil and gas industry. But more specifically, where can we find entities around Calgary that are directly for the purpose of maintaining a sustainable prosperous city?

Here is a list of ways in which Calgary is doing its part to ensure the steps toward a more sustainable future.

-Designating certain areas in Calgary as green spaces, this includes planted gardens, and allocating space for sparks and more green space

-Implemented various modes of transportation like electric scooters and bikes, as well as establishing a wider network of bus routes

-Creating wider spaces for walkways especially for times during a pandemic

-Solar Thermal water heating at the Southland Leisure Centre

-City transit LED lighting upgrades

If you are also curious about more ways in which Calgary is on the path towards becoming a more sustainable city, check out the following sources.


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