Laying the groundwork for sustainable spaces: new planning innovator joins the School of Resource and Environmental Management

November 22, 2019

Andréanne Doyon enrolled in university to find her passion. Serendipitously, after a conversation with one of her professors, she discovered planning. Now, after six year overseas, she joins the Faculty of Environment’s School of Resource and Environmental Management as an assistant professor.

She holds degrees in urban, community and regional planning from the University of Melbourne (PhD) and the University of British Columbia (MA), and a degree in Asian studies and Sociology from UBC (BA). Her research focuses on urban governance and planning for resilient and climate just communities, sustainable housing, and questions of justice in sustainability transitions.

Born in Quebec, Doyon grew up in small towns and rural areas in Ontario. When she arrived on campus at UBC to start her undergraduate degree, she decided to embrace new experiences and make the most of her time as a student. 

“The freedom to try different things is a great part of being a student,” she says. “You don’t always need your ducks in a row. I took a Tibetan language course and worked as a volunteer bread baker because when else am I going to get these experiences?”

She embraced the opportunities that university provided her, especially the opportunity to study overseas.

“I spent two semesters abroad in Beijing and travelling through Southeast Asia” says Doyon. “I was fascinated by these big, massive cities. There is so much going on and so many people moving in and out. You see things on a scale that you don’t tend to see in Canada, and I wanted to know more. Planning became a really useful way to channel my interests.” She returned to Asia during her master’s degree, spending time in both Jakarta and Singapore.

This year, Doyon teaches REM 356W. For students uncertain about the field of planning, Doyon says, “At its very core, planning is thinking about where things should and shouldn’t happen. It’s about balancing different priorities and thinking about long-terms goals. Where do we want to go? How do we get there? That’s planning.”

Prior to arriving at SFU, Doyon lectured in sustainability and urban planning in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

She has also published in Cities, Sustainability, and Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions and in edited books and written for The Conversation and The Guardian.