Executive Director, Urban Development Institute Calgary

The City of Calgary undoubtedly had the best of intentions when using goals such as higher density communities and more multi-family housing to create Plan It Calgary, a development and transportation plan intended to guide growth and spending for the next 60 years.

But for Michael Flynn, executive director of the Urban Development Institute-Calgary, admirable goals alone don't make for a thriving building industry.

"I think it would have a huge impact in terms of the type of construction that is done, how many people are employed to do the construction, the types of buildings that are made, and how many subcontractors are used," Flynn says.

The problem relates to what Calgarians want. Opposition to the plan is based on the experience of the more than 170 companies that Flynn's organizations represents as well as survey information: Calgarians prefer choice.

Since the release of Plan It, Flynn has spent most of his time working with the city to come up with a plan that is, from the developers' point of view, realistic. It's a challenging job, but one that Flynn is prepared to tackle.

The one-time executive director of the Calgary Police Commission, who laughs when he says he isn't sure how he ended up at Urban Development Institute-Calgary, has a long history working with city administration and, in his current position, maintains a close working relationship with the city.

That relationship is certain to serve him well in the coming months as he works with the city to develop a workable implementation plan around Plan It while participating in important development agreement negotiations.

It will be a busy year, but Flynn doesn't mind.

"I like the fact that I'm working with people who are actually physically building the city," he says. "I'm very proud of our city and grateful to be affiliated with these people."

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