TRAVIS OBERG

DIRECTOR OF DESIGN, UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY PROPERTIES GROUP

THOUGHT

Leader

AN INNOVATOR OF INDUSTRY
“INNOVATION DISTRICTS ARE DYNAMIC, DIVERSE ECOSYSTEMS THAT THRIVE ON THE COLLECTIVE STRENGTH OF INDIVIDUALS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE.”

As Featured:

In a rapidly changing world, where the boundaries of what is possible continue to expand, the essence of innovation lies at the heart of progress. It is not confined to sterile laboratories or academic institutions; rather, it thrives in vibrant communities where collaboration, creativity, and a sense of place converge. These communities of innovation, often referred to as innovation districts, are the nexus of research, economic development and placemaking. In Alberta, where the spirit of innovation has long been intertwined with the province’s pioneering history, these districts are carving out spaces that inspire transformative thinking, redefine urban landscapes, propelling society forward.

Calgary and Edmonton – Alberta’s largest cities, each have a unique role to play in this narrative. As they forge their own paths, their collaborative spirit is what will raise the province onto the global stage. While innovation may manifest differently in the future, the spaces we create must remain adaptable and inspirational. The essence of change should permeate every facet of communities of innovation, becoming an integral part of their DNA.

But this evolution is not limited to technology alone; it encompasses urban sustainability, resilience, and thoughtful planning for a future that balances economic growth, social equity, and environmental well-being.

In this context, urban planning becomes a canvas for innovation. Innovation districts are dynamic, diverse ecosystems that thrive on the collective strength of individuals from all walks of life. A tapestry of age ranges, experiences, talents, and perspectives converges to form a rich backdrop where innovation flourishes. They are designed to adapt to the changing tides of creativity and progress, offering spaces where people can be inspired, live, work, play, learn, and ultimately innovate.

The power of innovation cannot be underestimated. It reshapes the very fabric of our society, economy, and culture, laying the groundwork for a future that transcends our current capabilities. As we reflect on our past achievements and look to the future, it becomes clear that innovation is not solely about breakthroughs in science or technology. It is about deepening our understanding of where we have been and charting a course for where we are going. This journey is a collaborative one, requiring not only the ingenuity of brilliant minds, entrepreneurs, researchers and startups, but also the places that foster creative thinking and meaningful relationships.

As Alberta embraces its role as a beacon of innovation, it needs to envision a future where creativity and innovation unite. Innovation districts are not mere clusters of research institutions; they are vibrant, multi-faceted spaces that seamlessly integrate various uses, from research centers to hotels, residences, and retail establishments. From reimagining transportation and energy systems to nurturing green spaces innovation infuses these complex systems with new possibilities. Through strong collaboration and a commitment to cultivating vibrant spaces, Alberta is poised to become a global leader in harnessing the power of innovation to shape a better tomorrow.

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