The Centre for Urban Research and Education conducts and facilitates collaborative research to address current and emerging urban priorities and issues. Such research tends to focus on areas including community governance, citizen engagement and local capacity building, as well as taxes and public spending around planning for infrastructure to support social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
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With financial support from Infrastructure Canada, the CURE network plays key roles as observers, evaluators, and facilitators in a pilot project initiated by the City of Ottawa called the Neighbourhood Planning Initiative.
The purpose of our study is to explore how:
- Citizens are being engaged to provide input on infrastructure reconstruction, to influence community land-use decisions and to shape a comprehensive neighbourhood plan
- City of Ottawa employees are trying to increase inter-departmental collaboration on municipal planning to develop a more coherent, place-sensitive approach toward neighbourhoods
The Neighbourhood Planning Initiative is about stepping away from traditional methods of planning to experiment with a more integrated and inclusive approach to community development. Introduced in 2006, the City of Ottawa is testing the approach in urban and rural neighbourhood demonstration sites.
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With a multi-year research grant from Infrastructure Canada, the Centre Urban Research and Education (CURE) with the School of Public Policy and Administration, has undertaken a major study on the gas tax transfer and urban infrastructure in Canadian municipalities.
The purpose of the project is to explore how Canadian municipalities will govern and spend the federal transfer of the gas tax. As one of the most significant transfers of tax room in the postwar period, the intent of the transfer is to help municipalities stimulate investment in “environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure to support environmental sustainability objectives”. The research will evaluate spending and outcomes in selected municipalities against these objectives.