#QuickWins4KW

It's been a few weeks since the municipal election and I'm ready to start talking about how we can get to work.  I'm excited to see what the new councils for the City of Waterloo, City of Kitchener and Region of Waterloo can do to make our community safer, healthier and happier. This January, I'll … Continue reading #QuickWins4KW

The Kids Are All Right…About Cities

This past April, I gave a talk and ran a workshop at the Modeshift Conference in Winnipeg. The workshop was an experiment of sorts. When Anders Swanson first reached out to me to speak at the conference, he communicated he wanted to avoid a "typical" conference, where participants were talked at, but rather where participants... … Continue reading The Kids Are All Right…About Cities

Sharing Isn’t Caring: Shifting Gears on Shared Responsibility

We need to change the conversation on shared responsibility. This became glaringly clear to me recently, when I came across a social media campaign run by the Waterloo Regional Police, called #CareToShare. When I first saw the educational video pop up on my Twitter feed, I was excited to see what they had come up … Continue reading Sharing Isn’t Caring: Shifting Gears on Shared Responsibility

city street

Street Smarts: Common Sense and the Smart City

Across Canada, we're seeing municipalities putting their best foot forward with some great ideas for the federal government's Smart Cities Challenge. It's quite exciting. I have long advocated for data-driven city building, especially as it pertains to active transportation. It's hard to argue with numbers. Which is why I've chosen to do the research I … Continue reading Street Smarts: Common Sense and the Smart City

Shame, Blame and the City Building Game: Moving Forward With the Way We Move

I returned from Burning Man a few days ago. Similarly to last year, I've come back inspired - and somewhat tired. My week in Black Rock City was admittedly a lot tougher this year. It was oppressively hot, which took a toll on my energy to explore the expansive pop-up city. But, while I return … Continue reading Shame, Blame and the City Building Game: Moving Forward With the Way We Move

Build A City I Can Be Proud Of: How Urban Design Impacts Civic Pride

Cities serious about cultivating civic pride and building their brand need to recognize how urban design can detract from their efforts. The best ambassadors for a city are its citizens, and so it would make sense that their ability to speak positively about it would be influenced by their experience of the city itself, particularly … Continue reading Build A City I Can Be Proud Of: How Urban Design Impacts Civic Pride

Prescription: Bike Lanes

Some context: I am writing this blog post after spending three weeks travelling around Europe visiting numerous cities, including the urbanist mecca of Copenhagen. I had the privilege of experiencing the delight of biking the complete streets of that glorious city. So, I've returned to Canada feeling both inspired by what I saw there AND … Continue reading Prescription: Bike Lanes

Put Yourself In Our Shoes: Using Empathy to Build Walkable Cities

About a year ago, I wrote a post about how urban design can impact a person's sense of dignity. The issue has been on my mind regularly since. I think about it every day, actually. My research involves understanding how people perceive urban environments. A study I wrapped up this semester examined how being in the presence … Continue reading Put Yourself In Our Shoes: Using Empathy to Build Walkable Cities

Unsafe at the intersection: Racism, road rage and the role of urban design

A few weeks ago, while biking to the University of Waterloo (as I do every day), I had a jarring altercation with a motorist. I use the Spurline Trail, which is a lovely bike path that connects Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo. The path is well taken care of. It is beautifully lit, which recognizes … Continue reading Unsafe at the intersection: Racism, road rage and the role of urban design

Design Thinking and the City: Dignity Lies in the Details

Last winter I had an experience that changed the way I saw urban design. It was mid-February. It was one of those days that was so cold that the city seemed to be blanketed in a mist of ice. Certainly not a day one wanted to spend outside for too long. I was on my … Continue reading Design Thinking and the City: Dignity Lies in the Details