Urban Development and Poverty Reduction Laboratory in Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada): International Laboratory on Urban Development and Poverty Reduction

On May 6th, the Province of Manitoba and a network of Winnipeg institutional and community partners signed an agreement with the KIP International School to establish an International Laboratory on Urban Development and Poverty Reduction in Winnipeg as part of an network of laboratories of the KIP International School through its Universitas Programme. The signing ceremony took place at the Thunderbird House Circle of Life in the heart of Winnipeg’s inner city.

Signatories were Premier Greg Selinger for the Province of Manitoba, Dr. David Barnard, President of the University of Manitoba, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President of the University of Winnipeg, Dr. Shauna MacKinnon, Director of  the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Manitoba), Mr. Brendan Reimer, Coordinator of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network – Manitoba, Ms. Diane Roussin, Executive Director of Ma Mawi Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. and Ms. Kathy Mallett, Executive Director of the Community Education Development Association. For the KIP International School, Dr. Luciano Carrino, President, and Ms. Sara Swartz, Director of the Universitas Programme.

Urban poverty, often concentrated in the inner city of major urban centres, affects cities in diverse developmental and cultural contexts. Traditional strategies have done little to eradicate poverty or to address the growing imbalances between poverty and wealth even in the same city. Yet at the same time, in many countries around the world and in many cities, innovative alternative approaches are being experimented with great success. The challenge is to build on these individual success stories to identify more comprehensive solutions to the multi-dimensions of urban poverty and its structural causes.

Winnipeg's inner-city is characterized by racialized and spacialized poverty, with high rates of unemployment, street-gang  and sex trade activity, violence and inadequate housing. Winnipeg also has the largest urban Aboriginal population in Canada, which is disproportionately concentrated in the Inner City, is disproportionately poor, and is very adversely affected by poverty.  Winnipeg’s inner city is also the destination of growing numbers of poor refugees and immigrants who face major economic, social and cultural challenges. Their presence increases the complexity of inner-city problems.

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Practising Community-Based Participatory Research

There is increasing pressure on university scholars to reach beyond the “ivory tower” and engage in collaborative research with communities. But what does this actually mean? What is community-based participatory research (CBPR) and what does engagement look like?

This book presents stories about CBPR from past and current Manitoba Research Alliance projects in socially and economically marginalized communities. Bringing together experienced researchers with new scholars and community practitioners, the stories describe the impetus for the research projects, how they came to be implemented, and how CBPR is being used to effect change within the community.​

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