Pre-2012 BALTA Research

Student researchers in Rural Alberta. Photo courtesy of the PACSE Program, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta

Previous BALTA Research and Related Work that is Relevant to the Scaling Innovation for Sustainability Project

The Resilience Imperative: Co-operative Transitions to a Steady State EconomyThis book is the culmination of several years of BALTA supported research and reflection. With our communities confronted by major sustainability challenges, many linked to the impact of climate change, it argues for replacing the paradigm of limitless economic growth with a more decentralized, co-operative, steady-state economy.  It examines case studies of success in energy sufficiency, local food systems, low-cost community based financing, affordable housing and land reform.  For further information, see:

Municipal Government Support for the Social Economy SectorBased on a survey of larger, medium sized and smaller municipalities in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, this report documents various ways that municipal governments are working with and supporting the social economy sector to address sustainable development challenges. For the report see: http://auspace.athabascau.ca/handle/2149/2813

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) and Affordable HousingInitial research looked broadly at community land trusts. Subsequent research applied the CLT model to housing affordability (report pending). Several initiatives applying the CLT model to address housing affordability needs are being explored.  The Resilience Imperative book also focused in part on CLTs. Other BALTA research has examined other strategies for addressing housing affordability. See:

Local FoodBALTA research focused on aspects of local food development, including how to scale up local food systems and the role of farmers’ markets in scaling up local food systems. See:

Green EnergyBALTA research examined the potential for wind energy development in Alberta using social economy models (e.g. co-operatives). Green energy was also a theme in the Resilience Imperative book.  See:

Community and Social FinanceBALTA research looked at aspects of finance related to sustainability and community social and economic development. Finance is also addressed in publications and reports noted in other sections above. See:

Co-operative DevelopmentBALTA research has focused on both the contribution that the co-operative sector and co-operative models can make to addressing sustainability and community social needs and on how to strengthen the support system for co-operatives. In addition to research reports, BALTA research contributed to a book, Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital, which makes the case for co-operatives as a vital tool for addressing people centered and sustainable development. A new initiative growing out of this work is The Co-operative City, promoting municipal level strategies to build co-operation as a vehicle for social and economic sustainability. See:

Seeds of Transition: The convergence of the social economy and sustainable community development When published (2013), this book will include BALTA research and reflection on contributions that the social economy can make to address sustainable community development. Topics include alternative food systems, land tenure, affordable housing, resource management, rural development and human services.

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