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Publications

City Soul Explorer Toolkit

The City Soul Explorer Toolkit offers four modules and practical tools to facilitate communication and closer collaboration between city planning and faith-based organizations. The Toolkit outlines a way in which the often distinct worlds of city planners and administrators and community-serving religious organizations can be bridged and brought closer together t...

Religion and the Good of the City

Popular communication and even academic research have tended to think it proper to overlook the contribution of religion to the social and cultural goods of the city even where evidence has suggested that it exists in substance and extent, both historically and at present. In this, the first of a three-part series, we ask: How are we advancing the understanding o...

Planning for Social Environments

This report is the first chapter of a dissertation project that examines how one might better understand the social infrastructure of our communities. The difficulties of measuring intangible social structures require ongoing experimental projects. Some of these experiments will lead to insight, others will identify dead ends. This current effort builds on existi...

Charity and Social Capacity

Though seldom sensational, Canada's charitable activities are essential to our civil society. Our charities provide meaning, purpose, and belonging amid the dark labyrinths of alienation that characterize our time. Researching, thinking, talking, building, and envisioning in this space is no esoteric investment, a quaint concession or a salve for the guilt of our...

Valuing Toronto's Faith Congregations

Churches and faith communities of various traditions have a great deal to offer to society and to the common good. Typically, these contributions have focused on qualitative contributions that congregations make to the cultural, spiritual, and social well-being of the communities that surround them. Few studies, however, have assessed these contributions in quant...

Cambridge City Soul: Context Report April 2016

Following a series of meetings, consultations and document reviews over the past two years, Cardus is pleased to release this City Soul context report for the city of Cambridge, Ontario. The Cambridge City Soul project has four objectives: that the City learns more about faith communities; that faith community leaders learn more about city planning; that stronger...

Can Data Standards Improve Our Common Lives?

Good decision making depends on good information. Municipal leaders need a reliable way to evaluate progress on goals and aspirations for their communities. The International Organization for Standardization is introducing a new data standard, ISO 37120:2014, to help municipalities measure standards ranging from firefighting capacity to public transit to water qu...

Cardus Case Study: Innovations in Mental Health Housing

Indwell is an Ontario organization that has worked for many years to establish effective and sustainable approaches to housing support for people suffering from mental illness. Cardus studied Indwell because they represent an organization that has found an innovative solution for a significant challenge: Indwell combines three primary elements to achieve signific...

Is Social Capital Measurement Still Relevant?

This 2014 paper seeks to explore both the current and potential means for evaluating the role that social capital might yet play in urban policy and community development. In particular, this paper evaluates the possibility of an updated assessment of social capital measurement in the context of the following key question: What are the merits of an updated Social...

Renewing Canadian Public Policy: Can Subsidiarity Provide the Framework?

Cardus is interested in exploring how subsidiarity could rejuvenate and bring cohesion to public and private thought and practice including both civil service and political processes and engagement. Through papers, research, and events with key leaders and thinkers, we hope to strengthen the discussion and practice of subsidiarity. This white paper from Cardus ex...

Edmonton City Soul

The City of Edmonton is planning for continued rapid growth and therefore considerable effort has been put into long term strategic planning for current and new residents alike. However, a critical component of the municipal fabric appears absent in these documents: faith communities.

Strengthening Vital Signs Through Urban Religious Communities

The Social Cities research report "Strengthening Vital Signs Through Urban Religious Communities" is now available. The report was supported in part by the Calgary Foundation and is based on a series of community roundtable consultations, primary research, review of official documents, and statistical data from the Canada Revenue Agency. While earlier work focuse...

"Big Society" and Social Responsibility

"It is incumbent on those of us who make it our business to think through such things to imagine how the 'Big Society' agenda could provide opportunity and hope within a cultural arc where both seem to be in short supply." —Ray Pennings A transcription of proceedings from the Manning Centre Special Briefing, held June 10, 2011 in Ottawa. The papers served a...

Calgary City Soul Phase 2: Final Report

(See also the accompanying letter to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, and the Calgary City Council.) Cardus is pleased to present Phase Two of its Calgary City Soul project. Undertaken in cooperation with the Arlington Group, the Calgary City Soul project was conceived following a one-day Cardus seminar in September 2008. At that time, it was noticed that the City of Calgar...

Calgary City Soul Phase 1: Inventory of Physical Worship Space in Calgary's C...

The City of Calgary's Centre City Plan may create an unintended disincentive to diversity, to the distribution of vital social services, and to continuing widely accepted social virtues, according to a preliminary study released October 20, 2010 by Cardus. This is Calgary City Soul Phase 1: Inventory of Physical Worship Space in Calgary's City Centre, an audit re...

The Shifting Demand for Social Services

Every day Canadians rely on an extensive infrastructure provided by the charitable and not-for-profit sector to deliver the sorts of everyday social services often taken for granted. In October 2009, a study by Cardus entitled A Canadian Culture of Generosity pondered the implications of Canada's impending "social deficit": how our institutions are going to suffe...

A Canadian Culture of Generosity

“A Canadian Culture of Generosity: Renewing Canada’s Social Architecture by Investing in the Civic Core and the ‘Third Sector’” is a Cardus discussion paper looking at a strategic response to flagging volunteerism, philanthropy and civic participation.

Think Different

Launched at Think Different, Cardus published a compilation of some of the most creative ground level thinkers and doers on public religion and urban policy. Read a Review! Including: - Introduction by Michael Van Pelt, President of Cardus - Bev Sandalack, Director Urban Lab (University of Calgary) - Cheri DiNovo, MPP Parkdale-High Park - Chris Cuthill, Art Cha...

Renewing Canada's Social Architecture

In this landmark speech, President Michael Van Pelt lays out the task of what he calls "renewing Canada's social architecture." He argues that civic, social, cultural and economic flourishing requires a new and different arrangement of our social institutions. This can only happen with a different understanding of culture-change and a new openness to public excha...

Toronto the Good

Introducing the new marquee study for the WRF’s Stained Glass Urbanism Project, Toronto the Good. This investigative report brings urban centres and their religious institutions back into the dialogue of city building. Inside Toronto the Good you will find substantial, qualitative and original investigations with bearing on the problems and potentials in the city...

Living on the Streets

Times in Hamilton are changing. Theories of secularization have been discredited in many circles as unable to account for the true complexity of human life. People are taking a renewed interest in the role played by religion, both in theoretical perspective and in personal commitment. Living on the Streets suggests that established religious communities—ch...