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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, [...]

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Canada 150: Shifting From Celebration to Reflection

I can still remember the moment I got down and kissed Canadian soil. It was tarmac, actually. I'd been travelling for 45 hours from northern Russia to my home of Victoria, BC. I spent that summer with my best friend (both of us having just graduated with our bachelor's degrees) running a Canadian International Development Agency project in [...]

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 [...]

On Multiculturalism in Canada: It’s Time To Practice What We Preach

So, yesterday was pretty much a write off for me, as I suspect it was for many. Our neighbours to the south voted in a fascist for president, and the reality of what that truly meant was quickly setting in. I reflected about what this victory meant for women, people of colour, people with disabilities, Muslims, the LGBTQ [...]

OT and HNPP: Some Thoughts on the Value of Occupational Therapy

It's occupational therapy month and I've been trying to figure out what I should write my annual OT blog post about. I got the idea for the post this morning on my bus ride home from the grocery store. It came to me as I contemplated punting a cantaloupe that escaped a grocery bag while I tried exiting the bus [...]

Learning from Burning Man: Lessons in cultivating community and building happy cities

I recently returned from the trip journey of a lifetime. I crossed off a bucket list item and went to Burning Man. It’s been a few days since my return and the dust has settled enough (both figuratively and literally) for me to gather my thoughts on what it was that I experienced on that [...]