Alberta Soil Health: Law and Policy
By: University of Alberta, Alberta Land Institute
Grant Number:

Interest in soil health and its strong links to climate change adaptation and resilience has dramatically increased over the past several years. Despite this rising interest, soil health continues to be significantly undervalued and under-protected by society.

In early 2019, the Alberta Land Institute (ALI) identified Sustainable Agriculture: Soil Health as a new area of research priority. The Soil Health: Policy, Science and Law in Action research initiative was proposed to strengthen public policy, amplify scientific knowledge and improve farming practices in the area of soil health. An initial review of policies and efforts in Alberta highlighted a failure to recognize soil as a valuable public resource with fragmented efforts to address research gaps. A workshop held later that year further identified dissatisfaction with soil management policies and practices including a need for improved access to scientifically sound research and the need for better education and outreach efforts on the value of soil.

The research generated through this study aims to address these challenges and increase awareness among policymakers, producers, and the public, on the importance of soil health to sustainable land management, real estate values, and the continued prosperity and well-being of Albertans.

     

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Accessibility in Housing Matters
By: Accessible Housing Society
Grant Number:

Accessible Housing is a leading organization providing affordable housing for people with limited mobility through accessible housing. This report provides background socio-economic data surrounding persons with disabilities and couples this with industry interviews with leading non-profit affordable housing providers to assess the existing market for accessible housing within Calgary.

With the current economic and health crisis, Albertans need affordable, accessible, and suitable housing more than ever, and the feasibility study and market assessment identifies gaps in Calgary regarding accessible, affordable housing and establishes plans to meet the demands in community, including what type of programs and services need to be developed.

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Welcome to the Lake
By: Pigeon Lake Watershed Association
Grant Number:

Lakes and water bodies are a limited resource in Alberta and the demand for lake properties is high. The impact of significant development around water bodies combined with a changing climate is negatively affecting the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of Alberta lakes. These factors also have an impact on real estate sales and property values.

The Welcome to the Lake program, developed by the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association and informed by the Pigeon Lake REALTORS® working group, engages Alberta’s real estate professionals as healthy-lake stewards and equips them with stewardship training and resources that they can share with clients.

Read the blog post.

The resources produced for Pigeon Lake can be used by REALTORS® selling properties in watersheds across the province.

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Green Building Education for Real Estate Professionals
By: Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
Grant Number:

In response to the significant uptake in green buildings and sustainability, the SAIT Green Building Technologies team developed a video series. This specialized and industry-relevant curriculum focuses on the increasing knowledge needs within Alberta in relation to high-performance and green residential buildings. Focus group sessions, surveys, and feedback from real estate professionals informed the curriculum development.

These 5 videos will help increase awareness and knowledge of environmental, financial, and building performance benefits as it relates to the real estate industry.

Read the blog post.

Explore the Green Building Curriculum Videos:

               

Download and use the corresponding Learning Bites worksheets to enhance your learning:
2. Building Codes, History & Progress
3. High Performance
4. Green, Sustainable & Healthy
5. Cost, Value & Marketability

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Invasive Plants of Alberta Guide
By: Alberta Invasive Species Council
Grant Number:

The Alberta Invasive Species Council updated their Invasive Plants of Alberta Guide. The new version of this guide includes provincial distribution maps, information on prevention initiatives, and indicates the species that are problematic in specific habitats. There are several invasive plant species that are particularly problematic in urban areas that homeowners and REALTORS® should be aware of. These can be a liability as landowners are responsible for controlling or eradicating prohibited noxious or noxious invasive plant species that persist on their property as per the Weed Control Act.

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Resources to Enhance Rural Properties
By: Agroforestry & Woodlot Extension Society
Grant Number:

Rural properties benefit from woodlots and shelterbelts (eco-buffers) by reducing possible forest fire risks, reducing soil erosion and wind impacts on buildings, and enhances overall aesthetics. Proper woodlot management ensures the health of forested lands and increases the value of the land.

Real estate professionals authorized to trade in rural properties can provide clients with access to professional advice on the forested portions of rural land through the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES). AWES developed a suite of resources for municipalities, property owners and REALTORS® to better manage and assess their woodlots.

These resources build on a previous project funded by the Foundation on determining the Value of Trees.

Read the blog post.

Explore the resources:

          

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Healthy Homes & Healthy Communities Toolkit
By: The University of Alberta Centre for Healthy Communities
Grant Number:

The COVID-19 pandemic and related public health have drawn people’s attention to how critically important their homes, neighbourhoods, and communities are to their health. Public health works proactively to create the conditions for long-term recovery by focusing not only on the disease but on promoting the health of people. Healthy people are the foundation of a healthy economy.

The Healthy Homes & Healthy Communities Toolkit is a user-friendly website, informed by engagement with real estate professionals, planners and developers, consumers, and municipalities. The toolkit identifies nine common factors that support healthy homes and healthy communities. The nine key factor pages summarize key points and terms, highlight sample criteria and recommendations, and connect to existing supports and programs. Each of these nine factors is aligned with three key societal areas of concern: environmental stewardship, economic recovery, and COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Read the blog post.

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Green Communities Guide
By: Land Stewardship Centre
Grant Number:

The Green Communities Guide is an essential tool to help communities plan and implement nature-based solutions and strategies to conserve water, protect water quality, preserve agricultural land, and protect critical open spaces and wildlife habitats.

The newly updated guide offers enhanced resources for realtors, municipalities, land-use planners, and developers to help communities plan and implement strategies to conserve valuable natural assets in the face of development and expanding communities.

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Civic Commons Catalyst 2021: Strategic Interventions Briefing Report
By: Evergreen, University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape
Grant Number:

In 2020, the Center for Civilization at the University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) and Evergreen laid the foundations of the Civic Commons Catalyst (i.e. “The Catalyst”)—an interdisciplinary research and innovation platform embedded with SAPL’s City Building Design Lab (CBDLab).

With the CBDLab and its partner faculties leading an inter-and trans-disciplinary city-building research agenda—and its growing list of civil society and government partners—the Catalyst is consciously designed as vehicle for transformational and long-term change for the real estate and other city-building industries, organizations and sectors. Aimed at taking underutilized spatial assets in Albertan cities and catalyzing them into positive assets for the community that can revitalize their downtowns, the Catalyst is identifying zones of opportunity so that assets can be networked together and help focus strategies for economic development and impact investment.

Read the media release November 30, 2021: City-building research positioned to catalyze downtown reinvention

This project was funded in 2021 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Paths for Housing Co-operatives
By: Rural Development Network & Alberta Community and Co-operative Association
Grant Number: 2020-15

The goal of this project is to support the creation of sustainable, efficient, and resilient housing co-ops in Alberta. Despite minimal growth of new housing co-operatives in Alberta, a co-op model can effectively engage tenant-members in making decisions that provide affordable options, a range of community benefits, and be good stewards of the housing stock.

The Sustainable Housing Initiative, a division of the Rural Development Network, partnered with the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association and the Northern Alberta Cooperative Housing Association to create new resources to support the growth of co-operative housing in northern Alberta.

Explore the Research Report, Guidebook, and the Calculator Tool here.

This project was funded in 2020 through the Foundation’s Grant Program.

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Heritage Inspires YYC
By: Calgary Heritage Initiative
Grant Number: 2020-32

Heritage districts and heritage places of interest can create niche markets for shopping, living, and eating in “differentiated” heritage environments that contribute to urban liveability and the attraction of talent. The Calgary Heritage Initiative’s Heritage Inspires YYC includes a tab for realtors and comprehensive FAQs that cover everything from place-making to urban planning policy and the steps needed to designate a heritage property. It features 36 community histories, 17 flyover videos of potential heritage districts, 50+ examples of new uses for old buildings, as well as success stories of revitalization and designation. Visitors to the website can learn about how heritage contributes to economic recovery, sustainability, and urban liveability.

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WellWiki Alberta
By: University of Alberta – Alberta School of Business
Grant Number: 2017-15, 2020-10

WellWiki.org is a groundbreaking solution to the problem of information access and transparency related to data on oil and gas development. While in many cases some data on wells is publicly available, interested parties face an arcane and obscure process for accessing it which deters many from pursuing the information they need. WellWiki.org solves this problem, providing access to information in an easy-to-use format available to all, and has been successful across North America. Using WellWiki, Albertans can now access centralized information about any well in the province by searching well name, region, operating company name, municipality, license status, and other details.

WellWiki was recently expanded to include an advanced well search page – a functional search feature specifically designed with and for realtors. This new search interface uses the township system of meridian, range, township, and section to better align with the way realtors identify locations according to legal land descriptions.

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