Application Number: 10
INITIATIVE: What is the title of your initiative?
Community Financing for Collaborative Projects: A Case Study of the 10 Carden Expansion Project in Downtown Guelph.
RATIONALE: Why was this initiative developed? Briefly describe your vision for this initiative: what changes would you like to see in your community, in the college/university, and for the student experience?
10 Carden Shared Space Inc., an existing not-for-profit shared space, is purchasing and renovating a 15,000+ sq ft facility in the heart of downtown Guelph, Ontario in 2016. The 10 Carden model is collaborative, innovative and compelling. It features several transdisciplinary partners, including the University of Guelph, Chalmers Community Services Centre, the Local Immigration Partnership, Out on the Shelf LGTBQ+ Library, and the Guelph Arts Council, among others. The project offers collaborative co-working and event space and features a Community Classroom. This space is being developed in concert with the University of Guelph, through the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute and Student Life. This shared venue will be the University of Guelph’s first official downtown location, and will enable events, course offerings, and workspace for academic inquiry – with and in the community. The City of Guelph has watched this project unfold and has a strong interest in supporting similar processes to co-create shared facilities as a way of strengthening and expanding the civic commons. Through RECODE/Cities for People, this request for support from the McConnell Foundation provides a method of capturing, documenting and sharing the model of the 10 Carden project, including the emergent social financing model. As 10 Carden is still in the midst of this work and has developed this project on a shoestring, the timing is ideal. Funding through this award will allow time for continued research, reflection, documentation, evaluation and insight into approaches that could be transferred to future projects, including those which may enable the City of Guelph to engage in this realm.
GOVERNANCE AND PARTNERSHIPS: Who will oversee and manage the initiative? How does it connect with other local, regional, or national projects or networks?
Ian Panabaker, Corporate Manager Downtown Renewal at the City of Guelph, will provide project oversight. The project team will include 10 Carden staff, a faculty lead and researchers from the University of Guelph. External consultants with expertise in finance, investment, philanthropy and downtown development would also inform the outcomes of the project. Other city departments, namely Economic Development, Energy, Planning, Public Services and Finance would share any relevant research, policy and data to inform the work of the project team. Research from this project may have potential to support future development of the City of Guelph’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP), city-wide energy-related incentives as well as other community-building and infrastructure projects. As such, the City of Guelph is interested in documenting how this specific project developed, and further understanding the potential for how the municipality could support the advancement of the model in the community.
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES: Briefly describe the activities of the initiative: when did it start, what organizations and departments are participating? Give a few examples of what participants will be doing.
1 - Case Study: Documentation of the 10 Carden Expansion. 10 Carden has been working on a plan to expand into accessible space since 2011. There is a vast quantity of information that can be compiled into a synthesized resource document, including spatial and business models, interviews, surveys, partnership agreements, articles and similar project examples. This document and an accompanying high level whitepaper will lead any organization contemplating a similar collaborative project through the pitfalls and the highlights. 2. Research of projects utilizing community bond financing. This would include: research, policy, financial information, community ceiling/capacity, and regulatory frameworks that may be a factor in the future scalability of social impact investing. Research will include other Community Bond projects as well as 10 Carden project data, including investor demographics and evaluation.
STRATEGIC LEARNING: What will success look like both in the short-term and the long-term? How are you assessing results? What will you do with this information, and with whom are you sharing lessons?
Short Term Success: Full documentation of the model expressed through an online package that can be shared widely and through direct contact with organizations. Documented interest from other organizations and municipalities in Ontario and across Canada. A higher level of collaboration between partners. Long-term successes may include: Viable projects coming to fruition with a mix of financing mechanisms. Increased community outputs in the domains of well-being, education and social entrepreneurship. More engaged citizens through participation in community supported financing. Local government being seen as an active partner and supporter of innovative, self-sustaining projects that also support governmental goals of urban development. A new form of collaborative civic space emerges.
Would you consider your initiative to be a social enterprise?
Does the proposed initiative have potential to be applied elsewhere in Canada? If yes, please explain.
One key outcome of this work is the documentation of a model including the community supported financing aspects that can be shared with other mid-sized cities. Mid-sized cities present different challenges and opportunities as compared to large cities, such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. There is definite potential for transference and adaptation by a number of organizations and municipalities across Canada.
1. APPROACH: Which departments are involved in this initiative? How will they work with community organizations, social enterprise, local government and within post-secondary institutions (i.e. with professors, administration and students)?
As background, Downtown Guelph is experiencing a period of fast growth, created to a large extent by City-led policy and infrastructure initiatives targeted to increase the residential and economic development of the area as an Urban Growth Centre under the Province’s growth management plan. One of the underlying dynamics of promoting this ‘urbanisation shift’ is increasing the risk of social exclusion through the inevitable property value pressures that come with intensification. The City of Guelph is particularly interested in this project as a possible method of building inclusive communities while maintaining economic growth objectives and enhancing the public realm as a key part of this process. At the City of Guelph, both the Downtown Renewal Office within the Business Development and Enterprise department will participate in this process. Our staff team will: - Leverage internal knowledge, policy and communication data resources to support the project; - Work with academic partners, including faculty and students through the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (the Research Shop and Community Engaged Learning) at the University of Guelph to share existing knowledge and develop a program of academic inquiry, with the purpose of supporting the project. Topics include co-working, collaborative placemaking, community bonds, social finance, and social enterprise; - Oversee an evaluation component of the 10 Carden community financing process, including data and demographic analysis and investor interviews; - Participate in stakeholder engagement and knowledge mobilization as the project nears its public phase; - support 10 Carden in an advisory role, in the development of the materials. The City of Guelph is very interested in supporting the process to develop an approach that could be shared and transferred to other projects for the collective benefit of communities, in Guelph and across Canada.
2. INFLUENCING POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS: Will research or teaching within the post secondary institution you are a part of or working with be changed as a result of this initiative? How will the administration staff, faculty, and students be involved and recognized for their accomplishments within the college/ university?
10 Carden Shared Space offers students and faculty an exciting new permanent Downtown Guelph location with innovative and high impact learning and research spaces, including a Community Classroom, in the midst of ongoing civil society activities. Facilitating a better integrated relationship between the University and organizations in Guelph, 10 Carden also positions the University visibly as an active community partner. Student involvement and recognition will be through credit courses and non-credit research positions and internships. Dr. Belinda Leach, of the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, will provide faculty support and research oversight. Opportunities are possible in these areas: - Literature review regarding Community Bonds and Social Purpose Real Estate conducted by students in the Research Shop; - Community Engaged Learning class projects to research the collaborative model and other similar projects across Canada; - Evaluation program created by graduate students to detail the outcomes of the Community Bond process, including direct engagement and interviews with investors; - Writing and documentation support for the project whitepaper provided by students at the University in collaboration with 10 Carden and external consultants. - Development and evaluation of the first year of the placemaking collaboration in the form of the Community Classroom.
IMPACT: What will you be able to accomplish now that you could not before the collaboration? In what way will your organization work differently as a result of this initiative?
This project will help 10 Carden to fully document the story. The past 2 years during which most of this project developed have been innovative with many fast-moving parts. This collaboration with the City of Guelph and the University of Guelph will enable 10 Carden to pull together a number of complex pieces and present key information in the form of a practical resource guide that can be referenced by others. This work will also strengthen the relationship between the project partners. Adding an academic lens to the community bond components, particularly through evaluation of our own process, and the existing community investors, will add depth and rigour to this aspect of the project. This will benefit 10 Carden directly in our current relationships with our investors, as well as inform future community-engaged projects. Share the story and inspire others. This collaboration will help 10 Carden to extend networks, share the story and further strengthen the placemaking model through feedback and new ideas that will inevitably develop as a result of this research and public engagement. By playing a leadership role within our city, and possibly in other cities, 10 Carden will have an opportunity to work with others to bring similar projects to life. This may also add a future revenue stream or consulting component to 10 Carden’s business model. In an era of austerity, with governments being challenged to do more with less, the 10 Carden Expansion project has an opportunity to empower 10 Carden and other not-for-profits, especially those social enterprises (of all types) interested in shared resources and facilities, with a method of retaining into perpetuity – more space for the community. These collaborative projects could begin to extend the civic commons, in a very tangible way.
Mr. Ian Panabaker
Phone Number: (519) 822-1260 x2475
Ms Julia Grady
Phone Number: (519) 546-5640
Ms Andrea Lamarre
Dr Belinda Leach
Other relevant information/comments
The City of Guelph looks forward to engaging more fully with both 10 Carden and the University of Guelph.