Thursday, July 19, 2012

Plateau Society

I actually read some good news yesterday. It was actual good news, not the usual bullshit. Edmonton is going ahead with it's "progressive" redevelopment plan. I say "progressive" because of the implied political undertones, it seems progressive has come to mean so much more than progress. I'd call this plan progress, not progressive, I don't give a shit about which political spectrum someone might think this plan resides on, this is what's needed, period.

Mr. Mandel keeps an intentionally lower profile than his neighbour, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. But since the first of his three terms began almost eight years ago, his city has invested more than $9-billion in capital projects.
The City Centre Redevelopment will include large swaths of designated parkland, recycled storm water, bike paths, light rail and have its own on-site biofuel energy system.
Last year, Edmonton was also named one of IBM’s Smarter Cities, the first Canadian municipality and just one of 24 worldwide to receive a $400,000 grant from the tech company. It gave the city access to a team of IBM employees who helped develop a streamlined City Hall management system, allowing employees of various departments to share information and concentrate their efforts.
It is designed to support a municipal development plan called “The Way We Grow,” approved by city council in 2010, which lays out a vision for Edmonton’s growth and attempts to synthesize the efforts of various city departments.
I have to applaud you Mr. Mandel for going through with this plan. With all of the controversy over the airport, the global economic situation, and the arena I wasn't sure if this plan would truly materialize into the vision set.

I know a lot on this blog sounds negative, but if your house was burning you'd expect me to tell you, wouldn't you? Reality isn't negative or positive, it's just what is, it's what we do with that reality, how we react to that reality, and how we plan for that reality which is positive or negative. I feel that, while my outlook has been negative, my reaction has been positive in my attempt to bring what I see as fairly accurate analysis on what we can expect to see in general terms. The city's reaction here, with this project is a very positive reaction.

You shouldn't think of this as "economic growth", rather I see this project and the potentials around it as "societal growth". In terms of the speed of consumption we expect today to meet the demands of GDP, this plan will not do, but nothing after peak oil will. What this project represents is a slowing down in consumption, an increase in re-usability and sustainability. This is not the sort of project that will make GDP happen, but it is the kind that will remain livable when it doesn't. The family and community orientation only enhances the strength of self-sustainability.

I take it back, Edmonton. Expand this transformation and I truly do not care about our arena debt obligations. Should (when) credit collapses and community reigns king we'll have a security worth more than any interest could compound. Our health, warmth, and home are secure and hopefully community oriented food as well. Well done Edmonton, I am literally overjoyed.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.


  1. I don't have a comment on this article per se, I just wanted to write that I really enjoy reading your blog. It's always well-written, critical and informative. I often find myself using your words as my own in conversation - it makes me sound smart.

    Is there any way to have your entries automatically e-mailed to me?

  2. Thank you for your comment and compliment, it is very much appreciated!

    I don't have an email list, however I am aggregated on
    You can get RSS updates via registering with an RSS client

    You are the first to request this feature, if I get subsequent requests I will implement this. :)

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Oh, and also of course I always Tweet any new post I write, so following me on Twitter is another method.