SFU urban planner Andy Yan brings down the house with urban issues award
By Justin Wong
SFU Continuing Studies' City Program director Andy Yan typically casts a light on current Metro Vancouver urban issues. But for one evening this month, the spotlight shone on him as he received an award for his work in this area.
Yan, an adjunct professor in Urban Studies at SFU, received the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) award in the Leadership in Advocacy and Innovation category. This honour is awarded annually to recognize the efforts of PIBC members who exemplify outstanding leadership, tenacity and advocacy on urban planning issues.
“This is a tremendous accolade, but it is hardly an individual achievement,” says Yan. “It is the culmination of working with a large community of mentors, employers and clients who have entrusted me to work, explore and push the frontiers of urban planning practice.”
The award recognizes his work on B.C.’s housing affordability, which has helped influence public policy addressing the housing crisis.
Yan says the crisis has spawned a number of myths in the community.
“The biggest myth around Metro Vancouver is that citizens don’t have a role in learning about, building, and shaping their communities. I hope that the work we do with the City Program can help dispel myths like this.”
Yan is currently working to develop a professional certificate in Community Data Science. The program will help urban professionals utilize big data tools to analyze information that one day may better serve communities. The initiative will join the City Program’s other certificates in Urban Design and Next Generation Transportation.