When your work as a planner and designer of urban places means relocating to the other side of the planet, it’s a fantastic learning experience. Recently returned to Canada following four years in New Zealand, Tom was fascinated by the differences between Canadian and Kiwi planning priorities and processes. Contrasting the two places has emphasized for him that while there are always multiple ways to solve urban problems, what unites successful approaches is a strong understanding of and adaptation to context. Recently returned to Canada, Tom is now our Urban Places Geographic Sector Leader for Ontario & Atlantic.
An urban planner by training, Tom’s work is diverse, addressing themes such as downtown redevelopment, mixed use precincts, smart cities strategies, suburban retrofit, and transit-oriented development. Tom sees urban planning as a ‘long game’ and believes in its potential to dramatically shape how communities grow—and how they can improve peoples’ lives. He is proud of his role on Edmonton’s Blatchford Redevelopment, a transit-oriented community developed on former airport lands, as well as the Tauranga City Centre Action & Investment Plan in New Zealand. With the benefit of international experience, Tom brings a well-rounded perspective to our shared urban challenges.
Away from work, Tom enjoys travelling. And even then, the urban landscapes are never far from his mind, or his viewfinder, as a dedicated street photographer.