Director, Urban Places & Smart Cities, Stantec.
Vice President, Community Development - Urban Planning
A fascination with cities drew Nancy to the world of planning. She loves the way they change, grow, and fit together, combining diverse people and places to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For over 20 years she’s worked to create more livable communities, and as Stantec’s Urban Places and Smart Cities Director, Nancy is heavily engaged in creating smart cities by marrying technology to community needs. Nancy co-led Stantec’s team working with Sidewalk Labs on infrastructure design services for its proposed Quayside development in Toronto. She also served as Principal-in-Charge for the City of Centennial’s Future Ready NextGen Infrastructure Action Plan, which provides strategies for modernizing and implementing new approaches to policies and regulations that allow new innovations to be tested, demonstrated, and deployed. As she explores how technology is evolving our cities, Nancy is excited about future-proofing our communities and building infrastructure that will serve current needs while also planning for the changing future.
Presenting with Tom Young:
The past three years have been a period of significant urban disruption across the world. Online working is reshaping where and how we work, with long-term implications for city centres, transport networks and the role our neighbourhoods play in our everyday lives. At the same time, climate action is moving into high gear and governments across the world are grappling with how to rapidly transition cities to achieve low carbon environments. This is a pivot point for the future of cities.
These trends can complement each other, but require thoughtful responses to complex questions: How can we reposition city centres to remain vibrant centres of activity? How do we create urbanism in the suburbs as everyday life becomes more local? How do we adapt transport systems to sustainably connect these reimagined and emerging centres? It's time to move to a more outcome-oriented process for planning and designing our cities, putting goals like climate resilience, equity and access, and transit oriented development at the forefront, and leveraging data analytics to inform integrated and strategic solutions. Nancy MacDonald, Stantec’s Global Director of Urban Places and Smart Cities, and Tom Young, Stantec’s Urban Places lead for Eastern Canada (and former New Zealand lead), will share lessons learned from across the world to illustrate how we can leapfrog from this period of disruption to more people-centred and resilient urbanism.