Director of Development, Transit Oriented Communities, Infrastructure Ontario
Sector: Public Sector
Discipline: Planning/Urban Design
Magic Moment: Speaking at the AMCTO Municipal Leaders Forum on the topic of Smart Cities Integration, and advocating the importance for government to have a clear vision, create a climate of collaboration and quick adoption, and leverage on partnerships opportunities with other non-profit, academic and private sectors.
I spoke about data is the new oil and how Quantum Machines Algorithm which processes data at the speed of “square root of n” can potentially help government to structure predictions to optimize resources for the rapid growing population; and to advance fact-based decision making that helps to expedite moving the city forward.
As the head of Urban Design, leading a city of 0.6 million through a paradigm shift to grow beyond a million and be the model of suburban intensification.
Key Influence: Leslie Woo. Strategies of divergent thinking and passion for giving back.
Ken Greenberg. Build champions and invest in consensus through conversations.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: Facilities challenge: municipalities are experiencing extensive delays in human services delivery to meet the anticipated citizen’s needs (i.e. population growth misaligned with service delivery of community facilities).
Destinations challenge: the challenge to implement holistic, comprehensive, integrated city-building visions that leverage on scale, synergies and market opportunities to attract office, hotel and cultural investments. “Piecemeal” approach and interim measures may negatively impact the performance of the ultimate build-out communities.
Funding challenge: the lack of sustainable capital and operational funding to deliver and maintain high-quality public infrastructures. Meeting the demand for substantial capital investments upfront and the costly on-going maintenance at high service-level.
Creating a virtuous cycle to generate sustainable funding: strategic utilization of land and property assets to revenues from smart zoning to finance cross-city transit infrastructure, and to enable the regeneration of core areas and the delivery of complete communities.
Secret Talent: I am nicknamed A.I. by my MBA class for the exceptional ability in connecting the dots, generating systematic predictions at rapid rate, and untiring energy in the pursuit of excellence.
On Championing Others… Serving on ULI Toronto District Council management board, the City of Toronto Public Art Commission Review Panel, OALA Editorial Board, CSA Design Standards Committee, GBCI LEED Exam Review Committee and has been invited as speaker and design critic at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, University of Guelph, University of Oklahoma, and York University. My community-driven urban design process with the St. James Town Community was profiled in the Design Exchange magazine and was awarded honour by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Travels regularly and has recently been to Oslo, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo to document the emerging trends and innovation in transit-oriented system, technology, and land development business model.
Establishing city-led By-design Studio to lead the development of tech-friendly governance, processes and integrated design standards and tools.
One word that captures you: Engaging.