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

Aiming for Bare Minimum: Why Cycletrack Networks Are the Only Way Forward

This past January, I finished my first year on the City of Kitchener's Cycling and Trails Advisory Committee. And I was considering quitting. Like many volunteers on city committees everywhere, I had a full plate of other responsibilities and commitments. Time was a precious commodity, and I was unsure as to whether my presence on … Continue reading Aiming for Bare Minimum: Why Cycletrack Networks Are the Only Way Forward

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

sidewalk with snow

Abominable Snow Maintenance and its Implications on Community Accessibility

When I was a community-based occupational therapist, a worry would come over me in late Autumn as I felt the change of the air on my skin. I knew that Winter would bring with it challenges for the clients I served in my role on a complex needs community support team. The term "complex needs" referred to the … Continue reading Abominable Snow Maintenance and its Implications on Community Accessibility

A City That Works For Everyone: Reflections on the Necessity of an Intersectional Urbanism

In the last few weeks, people have been discussing the issue of diversity in urbanism. At the recent CanU conference, there was an all-white all-male panel that got people talking. What happened at CanU isn't uncommon; many urbanist conferences often have a lack of gender and racial diversity in their speaker and panel rosters. So, … Continue reading A City That Works For Everyone: Reflections on the Necessity of an Intersectional Urbanism

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

More Than Books: Libraries as Catalysts for Healthy Urban Transformation

Over the past few months, I've had the honour to serve as Guest Librarian with the Kitchener Public Library. Guest Librarians are invited by KPL to bring new ideas and to act as ambassadors for the library within their communities. During my tenure, I chose to focus on healthy cities. Specifically, how we as citizens … Continue reading More Than Books: Libraries as Catalysts for Healthy Urban Transformation

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