STEP UP Conversations
Access to Daily Needs: The Impact of Design
Join us on October 21st
Wildly different perspectives come together in this truly unique conversation - an Urban Neuroscientist living in Edmonton, the new Chief Equity Officer for the City of Vancouver, the Federal Member of Parliament for Halifax, NS, the Manager of Community Development at the Community and Family Centre in Toronto’s Jane/Finch neighbourhood and an Indigenous community engagement and youth outreach specialist living in Vancouver’s False Creek. What could these urbanists from different walks of life in different parts of Canada have in common? They are all passionate about understanding how the design of their neighbourhood has played a role in people’s access to daily needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic – things like health care, social connection, food, employment, the feeling of belonging, space to physically separate and much more. Join this amazing group as they explain their own perspectives and observations and explore the thoughts of their panel colleagues.
Learn how communities can be designed, and re-designed, to help those who live and work there to more easily and equitably get those things they need every day.
Our HOST & GUESTS
Aftab Erfan - Moderator
Aftab Erfan - Moderator
Aftab Erfan is the new Chief Equity Officer at the City of Vancouver. She previously served as an instructor at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning and was the Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement at the University of British Columbia. Aftab has worked in the areas of community engagement, conflict resolution, strategic planning, intercultural diversity and leadership development. She has a PhD in Planning from UBC and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from McGill University.
Robin Mazumder is doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, where he is studying the psychological impacts of urban design. His research is inspired by his passion for urbanism, his front line experience working as an occupational therapist in mental health, and his interest in human-centred design. He graduated with his Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto in 2011 and completed training in design thinking in 2015 with Stanford’s D School. Robin’s doctoral research is funded by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious doctoral award.
Ryanne James is a community builder and public engagement specialist. She is the former President of the Athletes Village Housing Co-op in Vancouver’s False Creek and an active cooperative community member. She has made exceptional contributions to UBC through long-term and sustainable Indigenous community engagement and youth outreach and she serves as the Program Coordinator of Musqueam & UBC Bridge Through Sports Program and manages the UBC Vancouver Indigenous Students’ Collegium. She has significant background in social justice, mental health and Aboriginal youth empowerment. Ryanne has a Master’s Degree from UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning.
Andy Fillmore is the Member of Parliament for Halifax and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. First elected in 2015, he previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage, as well as for Democratic Institutions, and served as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs. Before politics, Andy spent twenty years as an urban planner and community builder in the private, public, and academic sectors, including as Halifax’s first-ever Manager of Urban Design. He attended Acadia University and holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and Dalhousie University. Andy grew up in Halifax, and he is a proud, unrelenting champion for his hometown in Canada’s Parliament.
Clara Stewart is the Manager of Community Planning and Development for the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre. In this role, she engages and supports community to help them develop skills and capacity to act as advocates for their familie and community and take on the leadership of creating the change necessary to strengthen their neighbourhoods. Clara worked as a Volunteer Designer at Exhibit Change – a design driven community engagement consultancy and think tank, encouraging impact through design thinking. Clara has a Bachelor of Community Design and Environmental Planning from Dalhousie University.