Fostering well-being & connection

Well-being isn’t simply the absence of illness, or the presence of material things. You can not be sick and have a car and a house, and still feel lost, lonely, and unmoored. Spending time with people on the margins, deprived of material things, sheds honest insight on what matters most. Spoiler alert: it’s all about connection. Six types to be precise. Connection to self, body, family & friends, land, culture, and the cosmos.

With the City of Edmonton’s Recover Initiative, we spent two years collecting stories alongside 59 street-involved adults, bearing witness to their resilience and trauma, and reckoning with what urban wellness might mean and how to nurture it.

Combining lived experience with 3000+ years of recorded philosophical and spiritual understanding, plus the latest behavioural and psychosocial literature, we find a remarkably consistent story: one that suggests wellness cannot be conflated with productivity and economic growth.


Explore real stories & big ideas>

Soulful City is an interactive PDF bringing together stories from the streets, with aggregated analysis, historical data, and social science literature to grapple with what it means to live and be well. Situated in Edmonton, Soulful City nonetheless surfaces themes that transcend time and place.


Download practical tools>

Soulful City includes a deck of printable cards to spark meaty conversations on wellness, along with a visual theory of change highlighting some of the leverage points to amplify community wellness.


Download resources

Soulful City Interactive PDF

pdf ⋅ 18 MB

If you have Adobe Acrobat and want to download an interactive PDF, download it here. Otherwise use the link above to view online.