School-centred neighbourhoods: an analysis of grande prairie's community knowledge campus
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Schools have always played an important role in modern society. They are a reflection of local values and changing educational and societal trends. The 21st century brings with it a multitude of challenges as we design schools and communities that embrace and engage learners in an era of global communication and unfettered knowledge exchange. This project explores the concept of a school-centred neighbourhood in response to these changes. Through a case study review of Grande Prairie’s Community Knowledge Campus, the study looks at the social influences of a multi-use school facility through the use of indicators of social capital, lifelong learning and learning-based community development. Interviews with school and municipal planners as well as facility users are used to explore the intended purpose of the development and to measure the effectiveness of this concept. The study concludes that multi-use school facilities have a measurable impact on the promotion of these social elements and thus contribute to the creation of a school-centred neighbourhood. Six recommendations are presented at the end of this study for use by school and municipal planners. These include: i) central locations and community linkages, ii) efficiencies and flexibility through multi-use school facilities, iii) the promotion of joint-use agreements, iv) coordinated school board capital planning and municipal land use planning, v) establishing a common planning language between schools and municipalities and vi) community planning and neighbourhood design through CKCs.