Upcoming Cochrane Ideas talk on Calgary's growth

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The struggles of managing regional growth in the Calgary region will be the discussion topic at the next meeting of Cochrane Ideas on October 11 in the King Solomon Lodge on Centre Avenue in Cochrane. It will start at 7 p.m.

Leading the discussion will be Bob Miller, engaged in urban and regional growth management for almost four decades.

“Managing growth at a regional scale is not for the faint-of-heart,” says the former planner, now retired and living at the Ghost Lake Summer Village.

The tensions arise from the desires for local autonomy and the needs of broader, shared interests. In the Calgary region, they also come with the clash between urban and rural values. Then there’s the slippery dance between the public interest and market forces.

Still, despite the strains of collective decision-making, Miller says it has been possible to find some common ground.

As a representative for the City of Calgary, he served on the Calgary Regional Planning Commission from the 1980s to the 1990s. After helping lead regional strategy-making, and providing analysis for Calgary City Council and administration, he joined the Calgary Regional Partnership in 2010 until its dissolution a year-and-a-half ago.

In that capacity, Miller implemented the Calgary Metropolitan Plan, developing region-wide strategies around growth management, transit, regional water systems, economic prosperity and broadband/fibre networks. He holds a degree in Urban and Regional Economics from the University of Calgary, and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia.

All interested people are welcome to attend Ideas at no cost, although small donations are welcome to cover expenses. The group was formed 19 years ago to encourage discussion on a wide range of topics. For further information, contact Andy at marshallca97@gmail.com or 403-932-6580. Ideas also has a website at CochraneIdeasGroup.ca.

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