Nexus

Concordia uses a framework called Nexus to organize and ensure that plans and projects appropriately address the needs and goals of individuals, communities, and the broader environment. Six Nexus domains are organized as a spectrum from individual wellbeing to interpersonal relationships (culture) to environmental systems.

Each of these domains has their own complexities and ways of being evaluated and addressed. They also interrelate in complex and sometimes hidden ways. We explore these domains through data combined with authentic engagement. While data can describe external behavior of a system, it leaves out subjective experience and inter-subjective consensus - in short, what the community values. The Nexus framework provides a basis for that conversation and investigation. These six domains span from aspects of life that are felt individually to those broadly shared.

 

Social includes the most subjective and individual aspects of life, including physical and psychological health, safety, personal aesthetics, and sense of beauty. Access to health services, food security, and safe environments relate to this domain.

 

Educational includes everything that expands human potential and moves people forward. All formal educational avenues are included here, as well as workforce training, site-based educational opportunities.

 

Cultural includes the emergent behavior, norms, ethics, values, and traditions of groups of people. This domain is related to shared moral codes and patterns of interaction, as well as art, music, and other creative expression.

 

Organizational is a structural domain, with a focus on how institutions and processes are organized. This domain may include how bodies within the public, private, and non-profit sector communicate, coordinate, and respond to community needs, and what engagement process needs to be in place to optimize a project’s potential.

 

Economic includes the patterns of human exchange, the generation of value, and the impact on the natural and built environment. This includes the balance between financial, human, and environmental capital in the present and into the future, including long term sustainability, flexibility, and economic resilience.

 

Physical is the physical context of a given project, including both the natural and built conditions, in the present and future. This includes ecological systems, city infrastructure, transit systems, communication networks, water management and air quality.