Council of Advisors
The Council of Advisors creates a valuable bridge between our program and the community of urban professionals. Council members are appointed to a three-year term, and are focused on supporting our students by exposing them to the urban professional landscape. Members are drawn from distinguished practitioners, scholars and creative contributors to design, policy, development, culture, and social services in an urban setting - all sectors to which our students aspire for their own careers. The Council also includes some alumni since the first graduates of the program have now reached this stage in their careers. Council members participate in M.Urb thesis prospectus juries, attend networking events, and provide advice to students in information interviews.
Frances Bula has been working in journalism for more than 30 years, much of that time covering urban issues and Vancouver city politics. Currently, she covers city issues for The Globe and Mail, as well as writing on that topic for Vancouver magazine, BCBusiness, and other publications in Canada and the U.S. Bula is also a journalism instructor at Langara College and an adjunct professor at the University of B.C.
She has received several awards and fellowships, including the Canadian National Magazine Award for best columnist and the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, which she used to study homelessness and housing issues. She has a master's in communications from Simon Fraser University.
Ken Cameron has 26 years of experience in senior planning and management positions in local government in the Greater Vancouver area, most recently as manager of policy and planning with the Greater Vancouver Regional District. He played a key role in the adoption of the Livable Region Strategic Plan in 1996 with the formal support of the region's 21 municipalities, an accomplishment that was recognized in 2002 by the UN Habitat Program's Dubai awards for outstanding contributions to the human environment.
Between 2004 and 2009, Ken served as chief executive officer of the Homeowner Protection Office, a provincially owned corporation that licensed residential builders, oversaw the operation of the privately provided home warranty insurance system and provided financial assistance to owners of homes subject to premature building envelope failure. Since 2009, Ken has served as a consultant on regional planning and governance for a number of public sector clients. He is an adjunct professor of Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University and of community and regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.
Ken is past chair of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities. He is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners. With former Premier Mike Harcourt and local writer Sean Rossiter, Ken authored City-Making in Paradise: Nine Decisions that Saved Vancouver, which was published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2007.
As of January 2017, Dan is development manager at PC Urban Properties Corp. He previously held a similar position with Ivanhoe Cambridge, a large Canadian-based real estate company, where he was responsible for development activities within the company’s Western Canadian retail portfolio. His roles have involved managing planning and approvals processes, design coordination and financial oversight. Prior to joining Ivanhoe, Dan worked with Thomas Consultants Inc., a Vancouver-based firm specializing in retail development consulting for a variety of clients around the globe. Dan is an alumni of the Urban Studies Program and obtained his master's degree in 2007. He is also an active member of the Urban Land Institute and Urban Studies Alumni Committee.
Beverly Grieve is the director of development services for the City of New Westminster, where she oversees the planning, building and business license/enforcement divisions. As a planner, she has long-standing interests in growth management, housing policy, the nexus between transportation and community building, and sustainable development. Her work in New Westminster has focused on creating conditions that support the development of vibrant, livable transit-oriented neighbourhoods in the Downtown, Uptown and Sapperton, and implementation of housing policies that focus on affordable housing and increasing housing choice. Before that, she was a senior planner and the manager of the Homelessness Unit at Metro Vancouver. During her time as the housing planner for the City of Burnaby, she was the city lead for the team that developed a number of mixed-income non-profit housing developments at the George Derby Hospital site, Oaklands, Brentwood and the Cariboo lands. She developed the community benefit bonus policy that has served as the model for density bonus programs in B.C. She also taught a course in housing and community sustainability at SFU for the Centre for Sustainable Community Development. She holds a B.A. in geography from SFU and an M.A. in urban planning from UBC.
As the lead for planning in the City of New Westminster, she has accepted Planning Institute of BC Awards of Excellence for her work on family-friendly housing and a secured market rental housing policy. Beverly is passionate about cities and likes to explore urban areas - usually by foot and transit - throughout North America and Europe, or by Mobi bike in Vancouver. She has a strong passion for mentoring the brilliant young planners that she is thrilled to work with every day.
Before joining the Urban Studies Program, Rebecca earned a bachelor of arts degree (geography) from the University of Victoria and gained several years of experience working in the field of environmental management. Wanting to refocus her career on sustainable development in the built environment, she was drawn to the master of urban studies program for its approach at using the metropolitan Vancouver region as a learning laboratory and because it allowed Rebecca to combine part-time studies with a full-time workload.
Rebecca currently works as a sustainability specialist for Perkins+Will Canada, an architecture and urban design firm. She provides expertise to design teams and organizations on a variety of work related to sustainability concepts and high performance building design. Rebecca works extensively with sustainable development metrics and rating systems, and has contributed to community energy plans, sustainability plans, green building strategies, indicator and benchmarking programs, and sustainable land use planning. In addition to her work and Perkins+Will, Rebecca teaches part-time at the School of Construction and the Environment at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Don is the manager of community planning for the City of Surrey. He is responsible for growth management, city-wide and neighbourhood plans and policy development in a range of areas including zoning, housing, social planning, environment, heritage, agriculture and urban design.
Much of Don’s earlier career was in academia, with faculty positions in landscape architecture at Penn State University and in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at UBC. Don is currently an adjunct professor in the Master of Urban Design Program at UBC, where he teaches a course on urban design as public policy. Don began his career as an urban design consultant in Toronto, including involvement in several award-winning design projects. He has a master of landscape architecture degree from the University of Guelph and a bachelor of landscape architecture degree from UBC.
Don regularly lectures and makes public presentations on a range of subjects related to urban planning and design. He serves as a guest lecturer at the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC, and for the Urban Studies and City programs at SFU. Don also serves on the board of directors of Abbotsford Community Services.
Jennifer Natland is manager, planning & development with Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s largest and busiest port. In her role, Jennifer leads multidisciplinary teams to prepare strategies and plans for the optimal development of port lands to best accommodate growing trade demand. She also oversees a team of professional planners who administers a comprehensive development application review process. Jennifer continues to lead the Port 2050 initiative, which uses scenario planning to set a strategic direction for the port in anticipation of a transition to a lower-carbon economy. Prior to joining the port, Jennifer spent five years with the City of New Westminster working in both long-range and current development planning. She is an alumni of the Urban Studies Program, earning a master's degree in 2008. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, a registered professional planner and past vice-chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission.
Nola-Kate Seymoar is co-chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission and the retired president and CEO of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities (1999-2010). Under her leadership, ICSC won international recognition in urban planning and design, solid waste management, urban greening, energy efficiency and food security, and Canada’s top award for long-standing commitment to international cooperation.
She has worked at all three levels of government, including serving as director general in Environment Canada and executive director of a royal commission of inquiry. In the non- governmental sector, she headed two large international conference events and was deputy to the president of the International Centre for Sustainable Development. She has contributed to many international summits and events as a speaker, delegate, and organizer. She served on advisory committees for the World Urban Forum and the World Peace Forum in 2006 in Vancouver and headed a team of writers that produced From Ideas to Action: 70 Actionable Ideas for the World Urban Forum 3.
She has three interdisciplinary degrees: a Ph.D. in social psychology, a master’s in community development and a bachelor of arts in recreation administration. She has taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Her writing and research centers on communities and empowerment.
Nola-Kate received the UN Association’s Global Citizen Award in 1995, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Andy Yan is a senior urban planner with Bing Thom Architects and a researcher with BTAworks, the firm’s research and development division. He has extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. He specializes in the fields of urban regeneration, applied demographics, geographic information systems, neighborhood development, public outreach, social media, and quantitative research. Andy holds a master’s in urban planning from the University of California – Los Angeles and a bachelor of arts with first class honours distinctions in geography and political science from Simon Fraser University. He is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and a certified geographic information systems professional.
Andy is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Regional and Community Planning as well as an affiliate with the Master’s of Urban Design Program of UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He has been and will be a visiting scholar at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Studies Institute (2002-2003, 2015-2016) as well as a visiting scholar at SFU’s Institute of Governance.
He serves on the board of directors for the Downtown Eastside Neighborhood House and the David Suzuki Foundation’s Climate Council. He was reappointed to the City of Vancouver’s Planning Commission in 2014.