Blog

Sidewalk Snow Clearance is a Human Rights Issue

Another winter, another raging debate in my city about who should take responsibility for sidewalk snow clearance. Currently, residents are expected to clear their own sidewalks. Most of the people who are arguing against city sponsored sidewalk snow clearance are able bodied, so I imagine that it is easy for them to take this position. … Continue reading Sidewalk Snow Clearance is a Human Rights Issue

How Winter Cycling Saved My Mental Health

Who in their right mind rides a bike in the cold? Well, it turns out that riding a bike in the winter can actually help keep the mind “right”. It certainly did for me. Winter has always been challenging for me. I experience seasonal affective disorder, which amplifies the depression I normally deal with. With … Continue reading How Winter Cycling Saved My Mental Health

Building A Happy City May Be Easier Than You Think

Do you live in a city? Do you reflect on how it makes you feel? I do. I’m actually doing my PhD in cognitive neuroscience examining that exact topic. I chose to spend 5 years in grad school exploring this issue because of my frontline work as a mental health occupational therapist. Occupational therapists look … Continue reading Building A Happy City May Be Easier Than You Think

Moving Meditation: How Riding A Bike Can Keep You Grounded

I’ve been trying to meditate more. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a necessity. I think too much. Partly because my PhD requires it. But, a lot of my “thinking” is actually just worrying. Often about things I can do nothing about. It’s always been this way for me. I’ve learned to “cope” with … Continue reading Moving Meditation: How Riding A Bike Can Keep You Grounded

#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

Flipping the Bird: On the Need to Slow Our Roll on Dockless E-Scooters

I was walking down a sidewalk in Madrid, deep in thought, reflecting on a full day of exploring the city, when I looked up and saw someone riding a LimeBike e-scooter in my direction at full speed. I quickly jumped out of the way to avoid collision. It was jarring, to say the least. I … Continue reading Flipping the Bird: On the Need to Slow Our Roll on Dockless E-Scooters

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

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