About Me

I am an Active Transportation Planner at WSP | MMM Group in Toronto and I am primarily focused on cycling network planning and design. However, my consulting practice also integrates my broader experience with transportation and land use planning, urban design, environmental impact assessment and population health research. I am passionate about using data analysis and visualization to inform urban placemaking and sustainable mobility planning. I am a graduate of the Master of Planning program at Ryerson University in Toronto and I have seven years of experience using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to support evidence-based decision-making and meaningful community engagement. I am particularly interested in objective methods for evaluating how investments in walking, cycling and public transit may increase health and well-being; improve economic equality and prosperity, and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. I am also an avid cyclist, runner, triathlete, and yogi.

I graduated with an honours B.A. in Human Geography from UBC in 2009. My undergraduate research focused on the confluence of urban studies, environmental sustainability and human health. My honours thesis involved mapping the local ‘population ecumene’ of British Columbia, under the guidance of Dr. Brian Klinkenberg. For this project, I developed a unique multi-level dasymetric model to determine exactly where people do – and do not – live across the province by integrating information from land use, land cover, elevation, transportation, postal and census data layers.

In 2008 I received the UBC Geography Faculty prize for cartography and in 2009 I was awarded the Geomatics Canada Scholarship in recognition of my ongoing contribution to cartography and geographic information science. My past research has explored diverse interdisciplinary topics such as how national forest change effects climate change, mapped patterns of turtle mortality off the coast of Florida, classified neighbourhoods along the urban-rural continuum, and applied hotspot analysis to evaluate the socio-economic realities of vulnerable population groups. I have also quantified geographic accessibility to social services, social capital and street network walkability in neighbourhoods across BC. More generally, I am interested in social policy, urban planning, spatial statistics and geographic data visualization.

Between 2008 and 2012 I worked within the Early Child Development (ECD) Mapping Unit of the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC. This project is devoted to understanding how environments such as households, residential neighbourhoods, and political landscapes impact child development. My primary duties included conducting spatial data analysis to identify key research findings, and creating engaging maps and data visualizations for diverse community, academic and government audiences.

Since early 2012, I expanded my urban planning knowledge working as a GIS Specialist and Cartographer at Golder Associates - Sustainable Communities Group, a division that was formed through the acquisition of HB Lanarc in 2011. In this consulting role, I worked closely with numerous clients and apply my expert knowledge of GIS to support dozens of urban planning, landscape architecture, public engagement and environmental assessment projects. I routinely automated tasks using model builder and python. Moreover, I gained transferable experience related to land use and neighbourhood concept planning; active transportation and trail master planning; 3D building modeling and photo-based simulation; walkability measurement and health impact assessment; energy density and transportation VKT modeling; land cover classification and impervious surface calculation using remotely sensed data; groundwater modelling, watershed risk assessment; and a broad spectrum of skills for large environmental assessments.

This planning experience is complemented by my involvement on the BC Healthy Built Environment Alliance, where I have helped create an evidence-based toolkit for planning healthy communities. I also expanded my knowledge of transportation planning by volunteering and attending the Walk21 Conference and workshop on Integrating Active Transportation & Health into Municipal Transportation Planning. Most recently, I was also selected to attend the CUTA Sustainable Transportation Summit in Calgary.

In graduate school I worked hard to diversify my planning knowledge through continued part-time consulting and practical planning assignments. In my Design Studio course I conducted three site evaluations focused on a retail corridor, an urban park and a historic neighbourhood. In my Planning Legislation course I received a mark of 95% on my final report which reviewed provincial policy, the Official Plan, and zoning by-laws to evaluate two redevelopment scenarios for a vacant parcel in Midtown Toronto. Furthermore, in my Urban Investments course I prepared a pro forma analysis to determine the potential profit from development of the same site. I also recently used GIS to compare the cycling networks of Toronto, Vancouver and Chicago. This last project was very interesting to me because I commute by bicycle every day.

I love learning about innovative projects and I am always happy to offer free consultation and discuss how I can help transform your dreams into reality.

I look forward to connecting with you,

Anthony Smith

Email: Anth42 [at] gmail.com