Is Calgary Losing its 'Municipal Mind'?

Growing rapidly and becoming an ever more expensive place to live, Calgary -- Alberta's oilpatch city -- is in danger of "losing its heart" writes Peter Menzies.
August 17, 2008, 9am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Calgary may rank only 66th on the recently released 2008 Mercer List of the world's 143 most expensive cities, but it has soared 26 spots in the past year and is closing in on Vancouver in the race to be Canada's second-priciest domicile behind Toronto.

This is not good news. The streets may be paved with gold for some; for others, they are merely lining the pockets of civic and private parking authorities in this, Canada's most expensive city in which to drive. Efforts by Christian charities such as the Mustard Seed and Inn From the Cold to establish shelter and housing for the homeless have been rebuffed as inappropriate for a downtown that prefers gentrification.

This is a city increasingly in need of, yes, a really good transportation system, but more than anything it needs calm...Calgary is at risk of what is described by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, in his book Municipal Mind: Manifestos for the Creative City, as a 'failure of heart' or becoming merely 'a place of business, or indentured servitude.' It's not likely that Calgary could lose its soul, although it is quite possible it could sell it by mistake."

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Published on Friday, August 8, 2008 in The Globe and Mail
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