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This is an overview of the activities and resources we have been doing during the first two years of working on the plan.

Year One

In 2017, Edmonton City Council directed City Staff to work with the Government of Alberta, the Edmonton Police Service and community stakeholders to develop a shared Inner-City Wellness Plan, under the name Recover. The program’s initial focus was on five inner-city neighbourhoods: Boyle Street, Central McDougall, Downtown, McCauley and Queen Mary Park. 

Recover's goal was to develop a comprehensive, coordinated approach to urban wellbeing that could be replicated and scaled up to other neighbourhoods.

In our first year, we undertook a phased public engagement process and spent time with street-involved people. We got to know them, learned about their challenges, their joys, and their stories. This ethnographic research informed our wellbeing framework as well as the prototypes that we developed with community partners.

Year Two

Recover presented to City Council in August 2018 and got the go-ahead to continue our work. In December 2018, we received four years of funding (2019-2022). 

In our second year, we added Strathcona as the sixth neighbourhood in our scope. We continued with our ethnographic research, and aggregated the data we collected to better understand what was important to the 59 street-involved people we got to know, and also what wellbeing meant to Edmontonians from all walks of life. We drew on 3000 years of Eastern, Western and Indigenous traditions, as well as contemporary interdisciplinary thought, in order to develop our wellbeing framework

We and our partners designed and tested more prototypes, supported the local social innovation community, tested prototype evaluation tools, and evaluated our past work. We also worked with City Centre Mall to determine how private/public spaces could better support people experiencing marginalization, and what guidance private businesses need in order to provide this support.

Key Learnings

Our first two years were filled with learning and unlearning. We learned the language of social innovation, to accept different forms of knowledge and learning, and to trust the process and each other. Importantly, we also learned that we are not the experts, but curious co-travellers with our fellow citizens on a journey to make our city better together.

For More Information

Email urbanwellness@edmonton.ca
Website http://urbanwellnessedmonton.com

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