In each qualitative research session in the Representative Engagement stream, participants were asked to consider major trends facing Calgarians or factors contributing to, or detracting from, quality of life in Calgary. These trends, and the strong alignment they show across sessions, can provide some context and understanding when considering the subsequent Key Observations from the Action Plan Engagement.
Diversity. Repeated across qualitative sessions, there is recognition that increasing demographic diversity in the city is, in turn driving increasingly diverse customer and stakeholder expectations and requirement; shifts in the technologies used to access services and products, as well as defining the need to leverage the contribution of diversity to the workplace in a global market.
Affordability. In each qualitative research session, discussion repeatedly visited the idea that a strong Calgary economy did not affect everyone evenly. While providing opportunities for many Calgarians, this same economy could negatively impact affordability for many others, exacerbating social isolation and increasing demand for access to free or subsidized services. There was additional concern that a lack of affordability negatively impacted the ability to attract and retain talent to the city, and increased the cost to large employers considering relocation costs.
Quality of life in Calgary. Qualitative research participants were asked to describe positive and negative factors affecting quality of life, or quality of the business environment, in Calgary. There were many similarities across sessions, and these have been compiled in the table below to illustrate the considerable alignment of the input received from session participants.