Living atlas of quality
in architecture and the built environment

Calgary's Commitment to Enhancing Quality in the Built Environment: A Milestone Roundtable

Inclusive designInclusive design
Students Hasti Masihay Akbar, Hosna Bahonar, Belle Gutierrez Kellam, Taly-Dawn Salyn, Nooshin Esmaeili.
On November 17, 2023, members of the University of Calgary’s ‘Quality in Canada’s Built Environment’ Partnership Grant research team hosted our third roundtable discussion. Held in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape ( SAPL) City Building Design Lab (CBDLab) event hall in downtown Calgary, the roundtable sought to shape a unified vision among project partners, to shift emphasis from consultation to collaboration, with an overarching focus on community engagement.
Dr. Hieu van Ngo, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning at the Faculty of Social Work and the Academic Director at the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Adithi Lucky Reddy, an urban planner and engagement specialist from the Federation of Calgary Communities (FCC), ), served as the facilitators of the discussion among attendees from University of Calgary and community, government and industry partners – namely, the City of Calgary, the Alberta Association of Architects, the Calgary Construction Association, the Federation of Calgary Communities, the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, Vibrant Communities Calgary, Sustainable Calgary, and Building Equality in Architecture Calgary.
The agenda outlined a structured dialogue, beginning with the land acknowledgment and project updates (delivered by Dr. Brian R. Sinclair, SSHRC PG Site Leader and member of the steering committee), moving through discussions on collaborative approaches, shared visions and actionable initiatives, then concluding with strategies for implementation. Supported by University of Calgary students and faculty members on each table, participants engaged in meaningful exchanges, envisioning a future where Calgary's built environment reflects the vital values of inclusivity, sustainability, and social equity. The outcome was a set of concrete and viable steps towards realizing this vision: from immediate community engagement to long-term sustainable development, with a highlight on connecting existing work and leveraging resources.
This timely and tactical gathering not only underscored the community's readiness to embrace change but also set the groundwork for actionable plans towards collective, collaborative and critical goals. Moving forward with hope and vision, Calgary is positioned to progressively improve the quality of its built environment, transforming it into a beacon of inclusive and sustainable progress. With the active involvement of the community and a shared mission to prioritize quality, placing people at the center, this vision is within reach.
To learn more about the research site led by the University of Calgary, click here.