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 [...]

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Make Something Edmonton: Is The Writing On The Wall?

OK. A few things before I get into it. It's been 7 months since I left Edmonton. In an attempt to try to settle into my new home of Kitchener, I've increasingly tried not to get too involved in #yeg happenings. I also recognize that as someone that doesn't live there anymore, that I should be [...]

A few things I miss about #YEG

If you couldn’t tell from my social media channels, I was in Edmonton last week. I was in town to facilitate a workshop on lean community building for the Alberta Council For Disability Services. I was particularly excited to facilitate that workshop because of the time I spent on a community mental health team working [...]