How can we fundamentally involve community into the habitat restoration process?
The City of Calgary
Year Completed
Hatfield Group
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2020 Canadian Institute of Planners Award of Excellence for ‘New and Emerging Planning Initiatives'
2020 Commonwealth Association of Planners Award for 'Outstanding Planning for the Climate Emergency'
Intelligent Futures collaborated with experts in habitat restoration to better involve communities in improving biodiversity in our city.
The City of Calgary’s biodiverse communities initiative was developed to assist Calgary Parks in fulfilling the goals of the 2015 10-year ‘OurBiodiverCity’ Strategic Plan, with a particular focus on the ambition to restore 20 per cent of Calgary’s open space by 2025. Due to the worsening climate crisis, The City recognizes the singular opportunity to use its platform to prompt a wider cultural change in how Calgarians see, interact with, make choices about, and experience the natural environment. The project includes two primary deliverables to help achieve this goal: The Habitat Restoration Manual which provides consistent processes for staff, and the Community Involvement Guide, which highlights ways to educate and engage the public on biodiversity issues and habitat restoration projects.
How nature and community can come together

The Biodiverse Communities initiative is a novel approach to environmental restoration that offers a comprehensive solution to the challenges faced by cities in tackling restoration projects. Through this initiative, City staff are provided with a framework that offers a predictable and coordinated approach to the implementation and maintenance of restoration projects, ensuring long-term monitoring and maintenance goals are met. The program manual and community involvement guide offer a user-friendly and comprehensive package that enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of project delivery, while providing a consistent approach to community involvement. With this initiative, environmental restoration is made easy and accessible, while fostering an inclusive and collaborative approach to community engagement.

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What We Heard
The project brought together various stakeholders within our business unit to formulate a collective process for how The City effectively and efficiently implements habitat restoration projects. Through the process, greater awareness was raised about the work that we do and how other stakeholders can contribute towards meeting or business unit objectives and policy targets. Cross-business unit collaboration was greatly improved and the deliverable has been incredibly helpful with training staff that are new to our work group.
Jason Weiler
City of Calgary