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A Case Study of Regional Economic Resilience of a Canadian Resource-Based Community Open Access


Other title
Resource-based communities
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Jahan, Nushrat
Supervisor and department
Deacon, Leith (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Garvin, Theresa (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Singh, Amrita (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Parlee, Brenda (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Human Geography
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Arts
Degree level
This research examines the regional economic resilience of resource-based communities (RBCs) in a Canadian context. The Town of Devon in the province of Alberta, Canada is a case study for this project. The objectives of this study are 1) To develop a conceptual analytic framework to evaluate regional economic resilience of a resource-based community; 2) To assess economic, social, environmental, and infrastructural forms of resilience and the role of governance from publicly available archived quantitative and qualitative data based on the developed analytic framework; and 3) To identify priority development areas of municipal and regional policy documents through content analysis and assess the role of governance in directing the regional economic resilience of Devon. The research utilizes secondary quantitative and qualitative data and thematic content analysis of regional and municipal policy documents. Secondary data was collected through federal and regional data depositories and informal discussions with the municipality. The research is instrumental in nature and can be used to highlight processes to increase a resource-based community’s resilience. The findings are discussed based on the developed analytic framework of regional economic resilience, and the themes emerged from content analysis of policy documents. Three key findings can be drawn from this research. The first is that resilience of a resource-based community is achievable. The second is that Devon has typical social, economic and environmental characteristics of an RBC but has experienced a shift towards resilience in social and environmental domains. The shift is owed to municipal initiatives and policy orientation focused on community facility development and environmental resilience. The third finding is related to Devon’s attempts to take advantage of its geographical location and regional setting to increase the economic diversification and long-term resilience. The challenges of achieving resilience in an RBC like Devon is that several factors of regional economic resilience are beyond the local government’s jurisdiction and there is the absence of comprehensive approach to addressing this issue.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Jahan, N., Deacon, L. (May 2016). Looking into regional economic resilience: A Study in a Canadian resource based community. Paper presented at the CAG Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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