Many of you have been following this blog over the years to read about housing, transportation, and immigration issues in Vancouver and across Canada. I’m thrilled that hundreds of you have tuned in to these stories and shared them with others. In the coming years, you will see a shift in tone. I leave Vancouver in July for a research position at the University of Amsterdam, where I will be working on a project with Dr. Luca Bertolini in the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development.

The iTOD project is focused on the barriers to transit-oriented development in the Netherlands. While many of us in North America consider the Netherlands as an example of excellent transportation planning (cycling, walking and transit alike), there are in fact persistent governance, financial and knowledge barriers hampering TOD implementation. I’ll be working on the policy side of this project, and two other researchers will be exploring the financial barriers and knowledge transfer projects, led by Dr. Erwin van der Krabben (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Dr. Dominic Stead (Delft University of Technology).

I look forward to writing about all things Dutch in the coming months, and to exploring other European cities and countries. As a planner, international work experience and exposure to practices, tools and governance models unfamiliar to us eventually help in the development of innovative solutions to complex problems back home. I hope to write some comparative articles on the Netherlands and Canada in the coming years, which will take me back full circle to the day I first decided to apply to planning school. Dr. John Pucher at Rutgers University, who does comparative transportation research in Canada, Europe, the US and Australia, was my inspiration. I’ve been lucky to have studied and worked with some great people during my time in Vancouver’s planning scene and hope to reconnect with them in the future!

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