The Value of Place for Small Communities

While considering the history of Rossland, I was struck by the fact that at it’s peak population last century, there were about 6,000 people living in the mountain community, mainly because of the quantity of gold being extracted from under its feet and the surrounding mountains. Since that time, the community has waxed and waned, […]

My Shrinking World

But something is happening to this world. Your world is getting a lot smaller a lot quicker than you imagine. Yes you still have the internet, Amazon, CostCo and can spend hours browsing through the mall – store after store of goods made in faraway lands. However, the recent economic crisis has rubbed some of the shine and glitter off the consumer model of spending.


I write often about community resilience here at UrbanWorkbench. Resilience is the ability of a system to absorb change and still function. In the sense of community, this is the survive and thrive through change mentality. Most people would agree that resilience is a great thing for a community, but I’m finding that people have different expectations with regard to what areas or themes are involved in measuring resilience.

Who Are You Teaching?

Image via Wikipedia I’ve always felt a strong desire to help people understand new things. I don’t recall ever wanting to be a teacher in the traditional school or university sense, but much of my job and what I do on UrbanWorkbench is teaching. It is through education, rather than laying down decrees that people […]

Starting the Transition

I have been writing here on UrbanWorkbench for over two and a half years now. I’ve grown a lot through this time, my ideas are more solidified, the role of technology in the future of urban planning, society and engineering is somewhat clearer in my mind than ever before, and most importantly, I know there is a community of people in Castlegar who are committed to sustainability as more than just a catchword or a set of actions we take to keep our quality of life.

Building Community

In times past, you couldn’t be an individual and live in a town or city. There wasn’t TV or the internet to distract us from the necessary task of making friends in a community. The community was the lifeboat you could trust to rescue, it was the means of commerce and service. It wasn’t just the group of people sharing a common location, it was a group of people sharing a common goal or set of ideals.

Castlegar Planning for the Future

This week marks the start of The City of Castlegar’s Integrated Community Sustainability Planning process – at least the public side of it. Last night, a presentation by the Fraser ABasin Council on Sustainability Processes foir Communities drew out out about 30 residents and councillors with some excellent discussion about the end aim of going through such a process for a community.