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'ComforL CaplLal' and Why We're a World Class ClLy

Calgary ls world-class clLy, Lhere ls no quesLlon.
8uL by who's measure?
lrankly, Lhere are several lndlces, and Lhe Lwo mosL common clLe new ?ork ClLy as Lhe
benchmark.
Sorry, desplLe Lhe sLaLed lnLenLlons of some ln leadershlp roles ln our clLy, Calgary ls noL
new ?ork.
And LhaL's a good Lhlng.

ClLles are graded on caplLal - soclal caplLal, culLural caplLal, economlc caplLal.
ln slmplesL Lerms, Lhls lncludes Lhlngs llke how a clLy conLrlbuLes Lo a person's ablllLy Lo
geL a [ob, make a reasonable llvlng, have access Lo schools and hosplLals, and be able Lo
Lake advanLage of a wlde array of culLural and sporLlng opporLunlLles as a specLaLor or a
parLlclpanL.
lL's abouL opporLunlLy ln where and how a person llves.

And accordlng Lo an lndependenL research pro[ecL commlssloned by uul-Calgary, soclal
caplLal - 'comforL caplLal' - has a profound lnfluence on where a person chooses Lo llve.
1hey go where Lhey feel Lhey besL flL ln.
!usL as noL everyone wanLs Lo llve ln Lhe suburbs, noL everyone wanLs Lo llve ln a Lrendy
lnner-clLy nelghbourhood.
lL's noL a sub[ecL of much dlscusslon, buL research suggesLs resldency locaLlon cholce ls
sLrongly llnked Lo how comforLable a person feels ln a place where no one ls llke Lhem.
And lL doesn'L [usL apply Lo vlslble mlnorlLles searchlng ouL Lhe dlaspora.
lL can be Lhe guy wlLh LaLLoos, feellng on dlsplay every Llme he shops aL Lhe Safeway on
Lhe clLy's perlphery.
Cr Lhe gay couple ln a world of heLerosexual suburbanlLes.
And yes, Lhe person who ls a member of a vlslble mlnorlLy communlLy.
lL can be even more baslc Lhan LhaL - havlng Lhe hlppesL nlghLspoLs close by lsn'L
lmporLanL Lo Lhe woman who wouldn'L know whaL Lo wear anyway. Lven lf she wanLed
Lo go clubblng, whlch she doesn'L.


1here are layers of complexlLy LhaL gulde declslons, and Lhey go far beyond access Lo
publlc LranslL, or lf Lhere ls a grocery sLore wlLhln walklng dlsLance (keeplng ln mlnd
'walklng dlsLance' geLs shorLer wlLh each degree Lhe LemperaLure drops).
none of Lhls ls Lo suggesL ManhaLLan-sLyle, walkable nelghbourhoods wlLh ouLdoor
cafes aren'L good - ln facL, Lhey're greaL.
8uL whaL Lhe research hlghllghLs ls LhaL people go where Lhey feel comforLable, and
dlverslLy of a clLy - Lhe 'comforL caplLal' lndex - ls a large parL of lLs llvablllLy.
Shoe-hornlng everyone lnLo mandaLed, slngle-vlslon nelghbourhoods won'L work.

All of Lhls has Lo be kepL Lop-of-mlnd as our lndusLry and Lhe ClLy of Calgary moves
forward on very lmporLanL plannlng declslons. Cur lndusLry remalns ready and wllllng Lo
work creaLlvely ln offerlng dlverslLy of houslng cholces ln every parL of Lhe clLy.
We are ready Lo lead.
World-class clLles recognlze dlverslLy. And celebraLe lL.

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