Our team collaborates with communities using an integral, consultative, interdisciplinary approach that is authentic and promotes #Discovery #Wellness #Innovation #Growth We have been providing specialized services to public and private sector clients across Canada since 1997.
We are fortunate to have received awards from the International Downtown Association, the Canadian Institute of Planners, Alberta Justice and the Health Care Public Relations Association for Canada, among others. We work now as an affiliation of like-minded consultants – bringing in the right specialists as needed for each project.
Partial client list: Aldrich Pears Associates, The City of Red Deer, Safe Harbour Society, Red Deer College, Central Alberta AIDS Network, Alberta Child Care Network, Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, Canmarc REIT (Calgary), Peavey Industries LP, Sunreal Property Management, Alberta Transportation, City of Victoria Police Department, Red Deer Downtown Business Association, Red Deer Native Friendship Society and the Central Alberta FASD Network.
WHAT WE OFFER
- Place & Activity Audits – a status report on the design features and human activities that make an urban street, plaza, or neighbourhood what it is
- PlaceShift Redesign – a plan to reduce risks, prevent crime and open up opportunities for positive urban experiences
Public Engagement Services
- Engagement Plans – complete strategic map for an effective public engagement project
- Public Consultation Facilitation – planning, conducting and reporting on charrettes, meetings, walking tours, and more – all with a focus on solutions
- Stakeholder Engagement – from one-on-one conversations to customized methods for each diverse demographic
Communications Planning, Writing and Public Relations
- Communications Plans – complete with objectives, audience analysis, key messages, situation analysis, action plan and budget
- Writing and Editing – content for diverse readers to be used in print, web, social media, public presentations, video and other media
- Public Relations – development and implementation of public communication tools, including media relations
- SafeGrowth® – targets urban safety and crime prevention. This best practice provides a coherent and integrative planning process with measurable outcomes for sustaining safety over the long term.
- Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) – focuses on enhancing our built environments using various principles that reduce the propensity for crime and improve quality of life.
- Community Crime Prevention Initiatives – engagement with community groups, people in the street community, businesses and others to reduce crime
We welcome opportunities to collaborate with other consulting firms and municipalities on urban development project teams.
Plus, as noted on our Speaking page, we love to get involved in talks, workshops and ‘walking consultations’ – especially with communities and clients who believe like we do that collaboration and mutual learning is the route to great cities.
Lorne Daniel – Founder
Lorne Daniel is an urban ideas enthusiast, an experienced communications professional, and a community engagement advocate. With writing and communications consulting awards in hand, he became involved in urban planning initiatives to help make cities better places. His work as a lead consultant on a variety of projects has since won awards from the International Downtown Association and Canadian Institute of Planners. Combining the ability to see multiple perspectives and to integrate diverse interests, he is committed to helping move urban development towards more sustainable, more livable communities. He lives in Victoria, BC, Canada, where he has led a number of urban innovation projects and founded Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. Lorne holds a Masters degree in Communication Studies (Calgary) and is a member of the International Association for Public Participation.
Steve Woolrich – Principal
Over the past 30 years Steve Woolrich has established a reputation for excellence in policing, corrections and security and is the principal of Rethink Urban Inc. He is an advocate and instructor of SafeGrowth® and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Steve has a keen interest in social issues and community development throughout Canada and abroad. He supports Restorative Approaches, Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP) and is a trained Peace Circle Facilitator. Steve is a collaborator and is drawn to organizations and leaders that are actively engaged in their communities. He is passionate about creating safe and healthy communities and neighbourhoods. He specializes in developing positive strategies for Gang Reduction and Graffiti Abatement and has made a personal commitment to creating better urban spaces by initiating Street Piano initiatives that continue to inspire other cities to ‘pick up the tune.’ Steve is an avid supporter of Arts and Culture and often uses his passion for creativity to enhance community projects such as Art Alley.
Brian Einarson – Partner Consultant
Brian recently hit the reset button and left a great gig in the City of Red Deer Social Planning department to move out to beautiful Vancouver Island. A University of Manitoba graduate, Brian went on to a 20 year career with the RCMP. It was during that time he became one of the first certified CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) practitioners. Following his retirement from the RCMP, Brian went on to work in education, health and community development. Brian draws on his experiences from busy city policing to remote isolated communities to inspire his passion for positive social change. Whether it was having an important meeting in a back alley or building an aquaponics garden in his office, Brian strives to move the social needle using the collective wisdom of community, and the power of fun.
Shawna Regier – Partner Consultant
Shawna is a SafeGrowth® advocate and a certified Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design practitioner who coordinates all Alberta-based projects for Rethink Urban Inc. She is originally from Calgary and now lives in Lacombe, Alberta. Shawna has a background in collective impact and security management, and has a keen interest in arts and culture. Through the use of SafeGrowth® and CPTED methodologies and working towards a unanimous and proactive approach, Shawna strives to create safe communities and neighbourhoods. She is a community builder at heart and understands the importance of collaboration and cooperation in every project she undertakes.
Anna Brassard – Partner Consultant
Anna is a full-member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and Registered Professional Planner with the Alberta Professional Planning Institute. She has 14 years experience in the fields of strategic planning, SafeGrowth®, crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), facilitation, facility planning, master planning and comprehensive community planning with First Nation communities. She spent 5 years as an Adjunct Assistant professor with the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary supervising Master’s level theses and teaching graduate level students courses in facilitation and building safe communities. This included developing a new joint initiative – “People and Place” – between the faculties of Social Work and Environmental Design. She has conducted workshops across North America on SafeGrowth® to police, design professionals and community members.
Shannon Littke – Partner Consultant
People, cultures and the arts; these are what inspire Shannon and contribute to her unique skills, strengths, creativity and passions. With over 10 years experience working with vulnerable individuals across Alberta, she is able to actively apply her education, volunteer and life experience to focus on solution finding and creative out-of-the-box processes to achieve results. With a foundation grounded in fine arts and psychology/counselling, she has found a natural calling to the creative therapies including arts therapy and expressive therapy. Her diverse experience in not-for-profits has given her a perspective of the conflicting and intertwining systems within community and our larger society that impact people’s lives in a variety of positive and negative ways. Shannon is excited to begin new projects in place making, urban planning and finding creative solutions to address cultural and societal challenges in urban and rural areas.
Brekke Beyer – Urban Research Strategist
A city is made by its people: it’s where we share our lives with others, yet choosing one place to lay down stakes can be interpreted as near-radical. Brekke understands this emotional conundrum, having recently transitioned from an 18-year career in Canada’s Navy that saw five urban centres as home (and several foreign ports as ‘local’). An engineer by training and trade and economic philosopher at heart, her approach to urban inquiry incorporates integrated systems and platform-style analysis. Her broad experience in technical resource management, Masters in Global Change, Professional Certification and Masters of Business Administration in Community Economic Development, and yoga teaching certificate make it her instinct to consider a story from every angle she can find. Her current research involves digging into Victoria’s commercial property leadership space and parameters that impact social inclusion and shared value creation.
Dr Wendy Sarkissian – Partner Consultant
Wendy is a planner, advocate and author, widely regarded as one of Australia’s most experienced social planners, facilitators and trainers. She is an expert in housing, community engagement, social planning and professional ethics. She seeks spirited ways to nurture an empowered and engaged citizenry. She has co-authored three community engagement books: Kitchen Table Sustainability (2009). SpeakOut (2009) and Creative Community Planning (2010). Wendy holds a doctorate in environmental ethics (Murdoch University) and a Masters of Town Planning (Adelaide University). She is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia. Wendy designs and manages complex community engagement processes in high-profile developments, as well as in small rural communities. Wendy is Adjunct Associate Professor at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Shannon Kernaghan – Researcher / Writer
Word wizard Shannon Kernaghan would probably want to edit that description of herself. But it’s true: she does wonders with information, ideas – and words. Shannon has been our principal researcher / writer since 2000, during which time she has created clear and creative content in the form of web content, news releases, annual reports, newsletters, advertising and more. Our clients in many industries, private and public sector, unanimously say that Shannon is a delight to work with. Shannon lives in Alberta, Canada during the glorious summer months and in the western desert states of the U.S.A. during their sweet winter months.
Dianna Bennett – Partner Consultant
With 25 years of experience with several non-profit organizations, Dianna is community driven. She received her Social Work education from Red Deer College and Brescia University and has since been trained in Restorative Practices. Circle process is one of Dianna’s passions; as a Circle Facilitator, she assists in building communities by creating safe spaces for participants to express themselves, and participate in restorative process to resolve conflict and repair harm. Dianna is constantly pushing the envelope, using the latest proactive and collaborative approaches to community building and public engagement.
Cindy Hunt – Partner Consultant
Cindy comes to us with an education in Criminal Justice and Corrections. She has spent the past years working and volunteering in non-profit organizations, such as The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre, Central Alberta Crime Stoppers, United Way of Central Alberta, and is currently an active advocate for the Red Deer Victim Services Unit. Cindy is certified in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Graffiti Abatement, Crime Free Multi-Housing, Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support, Group Crisis Training and most recently Suicide Prevention. Cindy strives to make the community a safer place, advocates for victims of crime and engages residents in creating safe communities and neighbourhoods.
Tanya Gadsby – Graphic Recording specialist
Tanya is a graphic recorder and visual specialist based in Victoria, BC. Graphic recording is the creation of hand illustrated “infographics” on large sheets of paper – this is done live during meetings, conferences, and events. Tanya synthesizes conversations into concise images and text that keeps the audience engaged and inspires new ideas. She has collaborated with governments, corporations, community groups, and small businesses. She also specializes in illustrated videos and small-scale infographics. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts and background in community engagement contribute greatly to her work. Visit Tanya’s website at Drawing Out Ideas.
In addition to our Lead Team, we work with a diverse group of colleagues – urban planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, security professionals and social planners. We bring the right blend of people and skills for each unique project.
Plus, of course, we rely on the insights of Our Urban Explorers: people like Ben Ziegler, Yuri Artibise and guest bloggers.