• What can cities and communities do to support and benefit from new technologies? 
  • How can knowledge-intensive sectors develop in ways which account for local contexts and local needs? 
  • How can benefits and prosperity be made to 'stick' to the communities in which new technologies are innovated? 


What We’re Doing

We are developing a partnership to explore these questions and to foster networks which integrate scientific innovation, community development, and urban planning in the development of local 'innovation clusters'. Using the local case of nanotechnology in Edmonton, the University of Alberta's City-Region Studies Centre is developing a series of partnerships, research activities, and community engagements with which to support the development of innovation networks which recognize and engage people and place as key constituents of successful science policy and development strategies.

To achieve these aims a series of community engagement and partnership activities were created: 

1) Citizens’ Summit (Completed March 2013) – Involving a diverse group of engaged citizens, this panel was convened over two days to learn about nanotechnology and to explore its roles in the Alberta Capital Region. The panel involved a series of workshops involving scientific, industry, and policy stakeholders.
2) Futurescape Cities Tour (October - November 2013) – A series of engagements and walking tours that encourage public participants to explore innovation and nanotechnology in relation to the city. These tours promote communication between publics, scientists, and business leaders as a means of jointly considering innovation and development plans in relation to desirable visions of the future of the City. In collaboration with research teams in the US, these tours coincide dwith similar events being planned in Phoenix AR, St. Paul MN, Portland OR, Durham NC, Springfield MA, and Washington DC.
3) Community Engagement (November 2013) – A one-day public engagement exercise involving a series of public presentations and expositions focusing on the role of nanotechnology in Edmonton and the Capital Region.

Learn About Nanotechnology 



Citizens' Summit on Nanotechnology and the Community- Dr. Nils Petersen Presentation from CityRegionStudies

Click to read the report on the Citizens' Summit on Nanotechnology and the Community