Building a better Calgary

A webinar with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Dr. John Brown. 

Safe, inclusive and vibrant cities don’t just happen — it takes research, planning and action to find the right solutions for local challenges.

Join Mayor Naheed Nenshi (BComm'93) and Dr. John Brown, UCalgary’s dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, to discuss Calgary’s evolution and discover how the city and UCalgary are partnering to build a better Calgary for us all.

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About the speakers

Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Naheed Nenshi, A’paistootsiipsii, was sworn in as Calgary's 36th mayor on Oct. 25, 2010, and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017.

Prior to being elected, Mayor Nenshi was with McKinsey and Company, later forming his own business to help public, private and non-profit organizations grow. He designed policy for the Government of Alberta, helped create a Canadian strategy for The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, and worked with the United Nations to determine how business can help the poorest people on the planet. He then entered academia, where he was Canada's first tenured professor in the field of nonprofit management, at Mount Royal University's Bissett School of Business.

For his work, Mayor Nenshi was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, was awarded the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and received the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contributions to community mental health. In 2013, after his stewardship of the community during devastating flooding, Maclean’s magazine called him the second-most influential person in Canada, after the Prime Minister. He was also awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize by the UK-based City Mayor’s Foundation as the best mayor in the world.

In 2014, he was also honoured by Elder Pete Standing Alone with the Blackfoot name A’paistootsiipsii, which means "Clan Leader" or "He who moves camp and the others follow". In 2016, Elder Bruce Starlight of the Tsuu T'ina First Nation honoured him with the name Iitiya: "Always Ready".

Mayor Nenshi holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Calgary, where he was President of the Students' Union, and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow.


Dr. John Brown, PhD

Dr. John Brown, dean, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at UCalgary, is a registered architect and a founding principal of both Housebrand Construction and FABhome. He is a recognized authority on residential practice, new models of architectural practice, and age-in-community design.

In 2003, he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation for his development of Housebrand, a vertically integrated practice that combines residential architecture, construction, interior design and real estate services into a one-stop shop for homebuyers. In 2009, he received a Leadership Award from Residential Architect Magazine in recognition of his work to increase public awareness about the value of design.

In 2012, Professor Brown began a collaboration with researchers in the Cumming School of Medicine to look at age-in-community design strategies. He completed a PhD entitled Going Home: Future Adaptive Building for Aging-in-Place in 2016 through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. This research explored new forms of age-in-place housing that combines mass customization and design democratization with digital monitoring/sensing and next-generation home-based medical support to create a new approach to housing our older adult population and keep them out of structured care facilities for as long as possible. The PhD led to the Age-in-Place Laneway House Research Project which received a Mayor’s Urban Design Award in Housing Innovation. In 2018, Professor Brown began commercialization of this research through the Social Enterprise Incubator Program run by Innovate Calgary and micro-voucher funding from Alberta Innovates. FABhome launched in 2020 to deliver this innovative age-in-community architectural initiative to seniors across Canada.

About the moderator

Deborah Yedlin  

Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin was elected the 14th chancellor of the University of Calgary, effective July 1, 2018. She has been observing, commenting and writing about business and politics for more than two decades, as a journalist for the Financial Post, Globe and Mail and Calgary Herald. In addition to her writing, she has been a regular commentator for CBC Radio and Television, and CTV since 1996.