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Winter Cities Shake-up 2019 – Building Winter Communities and Citizenship: The Story of Fort St. John’s Winter Strategy


Urban planners and designers, artists, cultural and community organizers, and people who live in winter cities will converge this week in Saskatoon, January 23rd to the 26th for the 2019 Winter Cities Shake-up Conference. The event will include presentations from internationally-renowned experts and rising stars in the winter design, winter business and winter fun. Throughout the week there are numerous events scheduled for new approaches to urban winter life, visit the website for a full list of speakers and events at One of the presentations will feature the City of Fort St. John, our own Chad Carlstrom and Dan Penner will tell the story of the city’s Winter Strategy. Read below for more information about their program session.

Building Winter Communities and Citizenship: The Story of Fort St. John’s Winter Strategy

When: Thursday, January 24, 1:30PM – 5:00PM
Where: TCU PLACE, 35 – 22nd Street East, Saskatoon
Chad Carlstrom, Project Engineer, Urban Systems Fort St. John
Dan Penner, Community Planner, Urban Systems Winnipeg

Join Urban Systems in this interactive session that explores a unique approach for fostering winter communities through the cumulative impact of small interventions that provide practical and functional contributions to the Winter experience. In 2017, the City of Fort St. John reinvigorated a longstanding ambition to become a winter-city leader in Canada. With the technical guidance of Urban Systems, a cost-effective, practical and readily implementable Winter Strategy was created. The Strategy focuses on enhancing quality of life for all residents through targeted “micro-projects” and building a “Winter Citizenship” culture in the community. The project team utilized academic research and their practice and personal experiences to develop a customized work plan to move Fort St. John forward as a winter-city. This session will tell the story of the Winter Strategy from conception to implementation and demonstrate how it can be applied from a neighbourhood to city-wide scale. Attendees will take part in two interactive activities that put the session themes into practice. This includes a thirty (30) minute long walking tour mid-way through the session, so we ask attendees to bundle up and come share your winter experiences!

About Chad

Urban-Systems-Chad-CarlstromBorn and raised in northern BC, Chad is a community consultant with Urban Systems. He strives to improve the places we live in and encourages applying creative thinking tools to arrive at implementable solutions. Chad is always searching for solutions across multiple disciplines to support a happier society. Chad embraces winter city design principles and seeks to implement strategies and thoughtful design to create livable communities in all seasons, for all ages.

About Dan

Urban-Systems-Dan-PennerDan is a Winnipeg-based community planner with Urban Systems who works with local governments and First Nations across western Canada and Ontario. His passion for winter is integrated in much of the planning work that he is involved with. His typically incorporates a “winter-lens” to projects ranging from Community Plans to Age-Friendly Action Plans and beyond. The foundation of his winter planning approach is incremental in nature and focuses building “Winter Citizenship”, the recognition that being a vibrant winter community is an undertaking that requires all hands on deck, including community organizations, business groups, general public and other key stakeholders. He looks forward to sharing his experiences in winter planning and tapping into the cumulative knowledge of conference attendees.

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