Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Posted deep into an organization’s website you will find their mission and vision statements. Sometimes you have to dig into their strategic or business plans or annual reports to know what they are. These statements outline the purpose for their existence and evidence of the direction they’re going.

But have you ever developed a mission statement for yourself?

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City Leaders Must Think Futuristically

As technology increasingly plays a role in our daily lives, and at a rapid pace, an unknown future of the effects of automated intelligence, automated and connected vehicles and algorithms will become prevalent. Governments of all levels are tied to reacting to crises and issues Cities are not prepared for the future. How can the public gain trust in a government every 4 years with Councils’ terms of priorities that are politically driven?

Most thinking is in the medium term. Official Plans, Transportation Master Plans Leadership teams are caught in a never ending loop of addressing long term risks with uncompromising short term solutions and tactical responses. These drain organizational resources and make disruption an inevitability.

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Community Building in a Post-Trust World

Image Courtesy of New Jersey Health Initiative

While there are leaders within the community with whom they trust whether they are part of neighbourhood associations or from diverse leadership groups, most of the time they lack the resources or knowledge to improve their areas. Similarly, those community leaders have the institutional or local knowledge to provide to input. They lean heavily on politicians, who then turn to staff to build those bridges. They are the gatekeepers and intermediaries between a city’s vision and mission and the community’s interests. Having the leadership and trust between these parties is necessary. Servant and thought leadership approaches intersect in order to bring transformational change to a community. What they have in common is centered around building trust.

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Developing Strategies Through Lived Experiences

We all have stories to tell in our lives, including our careers. Our lived experiences shape our careers, whether they equate to something fruitful or you’re destined to be somewhere else. I’ve noticed over the last year that I enjoy storytelling. So much so, I am thinking about writing a book. I digress.

My stories have come out through blog posts and public speaking engagements. From growing up in social housing to taking transit for most of my life, my story is being told and I would use those lived experiences to influence policy changes and strategies.

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A City is Decked Out in Red, White, and Black. Purple, Gold and Brown Too.

June 13th Approximately 11:30 pm

I am sitting in my room watching the last 0.9 seconds on the clock which seemed like an eternity for the inevitable to happen. Draymond Green in pure Michigander style dumbfoundedly attempts to call a time out when the team didn’t have one. A technical foul was called. Kawhi Leonard sinks the 2 baskets with the Raptors up by 4. Stephen Curry heaves the ball 3/4 up the court. Kyle Lowry grabs it. Game over. The Raptors are NBA Champions. #Rapsin6ix.

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Eliminating privilege towards the pursuit of social equity and justice

There is a renewed engagement with the role planners should take in the pursuit of social justice and social equity. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities. On the one hand, they can decide to use their privilege to their benefit by wielding power, status and knowledge and yet on the other hand assume positions of superiority during struggles for equality, Furthermore, they potentially sideline segments of marginalized communities with different concepts of social justice or how it should be achieved. Planners therefore hold power over theoretical and substantive knowledge that enables them to see what others cannot. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities.

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Adding Social Equity to Transit Metrics and Programs

Image via Toronto Transport Guy Flickr

Social equity was not taught in urban planning school back in day and has not been reflected in the planning, and let alone in the transit profession. All the while, I began to observe through readings and lived experiences. It is something that has frustrated me for quite some time.

Shin-pei Tsay was on the latest TransLoc Movement podcast episode where she recanted her lived experience growing up and what she visualized within the transportation world and in public spaces. One point with the podcast triggered my thoughts. While social metrics have not been part of the discussion regarding metrics, I look to the evaluation of transit projects and moreover performance metrics. In the transit world, these are service standards and guidelines.

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Shared Mobility in the Suburbs: An Opportunity Lies Ahead

While waiting for the bus last week, I noticed a man and his scooter is south on Chingaucousy.  It gave me the impetus to write this post.

They’re popular in Europe, but could they flourish in North American cities and suburbs?

Ridehailing and single occupancy vehicles dominate in my neighbourhood as opposed to transit, walking and cycling. It begs the question of whether micromobility can add to the transportation equation and succeed in the suburbs?

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The transformation of conventional transit is coming

bird
Image courtesy of the City of Santa Monica

David Pickeral, a consultant, posted a LinkedIn message that caught my attention. Within his message was a link to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) statistics which showed a 2% decline from the previous year in United States transit system ridership. There was a 6% increase for Canadian systems, but should still ring some alarm bells on both sides of the border.

Why the difference? More people are using new mobility options in American cities because there are quite a few more options. Dan Sperling predicts that new mobility will have more ridership than conventional transit.

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Transportation Equity Solutions in a Future Shared Mobility World

15-companies
Plenty of shared mobility options exist and have yet to arrive in Canadian cities.

As I sit here deep in thought while in suburbia during the Easter long weekend, I contemplate the opportunities and challenges brought about by the future of shared mobility.

New mobility in the form of transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft and autosharing) and micromobility (Dropbike, Lime) are disrupting the transportation world to address the first and last mile problem.

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