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This is an overview of our activities and the resources we have produced while working on the plan.

Year Three - 2020

Recover took stock of all of its research and experience. It was time to see what it was telling us about what we really mean by the term urban wellness.

In 2020, we commissioned one of our consultants to aggregate all our data and they put together the Soulful City document. It contains a wellbeing framework that is built upon all the insights that emerged, and it has 6 kinds of connection at its core. 

Recover also worked to better understand Indigenous concepts of wellness and wellbeing. Another of our consultants prepared strategic recommendations to help all those involved with Recover to build understanding, build good relations and develop capacities. It is very closely aligned with the City's Indigenous Framework. 

Recover continued to support a smaller number of prototypes - this work was hampered by the pandemic, but allowed the prototype teams to spend more time on research and ideation.

Year Two - 2019

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.

Year One - 2018

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.

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.

In 2020, we continued to learn - perhaps less about the processes and more about the destination. Recover deepened their understanding of what it truly means to live well and be well. Recover also gained insight into the need for understanding layers of place, self-location and ethical space making. There is still much to learn - especially about how to meaningfully apply Recover’s wellbeing framework, and in developing Two-Eyed Seeing. Recover invites everyone to join the co-learning journey.

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