Baukultur, Culture and Recreation-led Economic Development: The value of developing Sundre, Alberta’s qualities of living and place
What are the most important factors related to economic development? This paper explores the essential variables necessary for destination development and inward direct investment. These variables include: quality of living, quality of infrastructure, and quality of workforce. Quality of living is considered the most important of these to spur on economic development. Many business operators would rather live where they invest making quality of place an equally important variable that is intrinsically linked to quality of living. Destination development through place-building techniques, informed by the concept of baukultur,is assessed using quality of living, economic development and economic diversification as markers. Quality of living and quality of place are inherently connected when attracting business and growing employment, therefore, these two terms will be referred to as QLP throughout this paper.. Intended to help program and policy planners understand these concepts, this paper will explore cases of successful exercises of destination development that involve recreation and culture-oriented place building. The paper will then look at how to apply learned QLP concepts toward a culture- and recreation-led economic development strategy for the small foothills community of Sundre, Alberta.
Keywords: place building, quality of place, quality of living, baukultur, QLP, development, economic development, destination development, inward direct investment, creative class