About Daniella:

Profile: With a background in political science and economics, Daniella employs a multidisciplinary approach to solve environmental, economic, and social sustainability challenges. She blends her vast international travel to over 25 countries in the past four years with government, private, and non-profit experience to create sustainable solutions. Daniella has worked with rural communities in Costa Rica and Bolivia to develop local business and empower women. She has further experience in biodiesel production and institutional procurement of wind energy for carbon offsetting. Daniella has also consulted and worked for a renewable energy startup that developed ulitity-scale solar energy facilities. Right now, she is furthering her education to figure out how to make cities that better use resources, empower citizens, and create jobs. She believes that current ecocity development lacks participatory practices and that there is a need for community-based sustainable development. http://www.scarp.ubc.ca/profiles/students/daniella.fergusson

Contact: daniella@planningpool.com



Posts by Daniella:

5 Takes on Sustainable Local Economies

A significant component of sustainability is  developing and fostering strong local economies. Why? Well, people often conceptualize regional economies using economic base theory, of which one part is the idea of leakage. Basically, when people who live in a community spend money outside of their community or spend money with a business that takes money outside of their community, money “leaks” out of the area. Large retail chains and businesses owned by multi-national firms have high rates of leakage for local economies. Leakage also happens when people travel to another community and spend money there (i.e. tourism, but this helps bring in capital to the tourist destination). So, encouraging locally-owned businesses helps to stem leakage, keeps locally-earned dollars circulating within a community, and generally promotes prosperity and job-creation in the region. This is what makes it literally sustainable.

So what … Continue Reading

PICS Lecture – Climate Change and Health Impacts

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions hosts free monthly lectures from many academic disciplines that focus on climate change. This lecture by Michael Bower from UBC and Tim Takaro from SFU focuses on the intersection of climate change and health impacts.

The World Health Organization estimates that climate change causes 150,000 deaths a year (2000). The health impacts of climate change are direct and indirect. Direct impacts include temperatures, and indirect ones include asthma, infectious diseases, malnutrition, mental health, etc.

Climate change impacts in Canada include extreme weather, air quality, the spread of infectious diseases, and increased population from migration, drought, and sea level rise. Canada will also see an uneven distribution of impacts, with some areas being less able to adapt, like rural areas ability to adapt. Luckily we have good infrastructure and public health systems so we will see … Continue Reading

Empowering Youth through Food Sustainability and Healthy Communities

As the idea of healthy communities is becoming a popular way to sneak sustainability into popular planning discourse, I thought it would be interesting to write about a youth empowerment program that is promoting health and organic food systems.

The Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team (FEEST) is a Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association program, outside of Seattle, WA. FEEST’s purpose is to create a safe space for youth to gather to grow, prepare, and share healthy, delicious food, while becoming actively engaged in issues of food resources and the built environment in their lives.

FEEST’s young members lead Wednesday organic dinners at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Monthly dinners are open to the community on the condition that … Continue Reading

Citizen Activist accused of “practicing engineering without a license”

Really complicated crosswalk instructions. Photo by our very own Vanessa Kay

Recently in North Carolina news, I heard about a Raleigh resident who petitioned his local and state governments to add traffic signals at two intersections. The NC Department of Transportation responded with charging David Cox with “practicing engineering without a license,” a misdemeanor that could result in a letter telling Cox not to do it again.

How did this happen?

Cox is a member of the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners Associations (NORCHOA), which has been advocating for additional signalized intersections on a road scheduled for widening in Raleigh, NC. NORCHOA, a nonprofit group established in 2006 to work with public officials on the Falls of Neuse Road widening project, represents residents from seven North Raleigh subdivisions, … Continue Reading

Integrated Systems Planning for Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Planning Pool authors, Daniella F. and Dylan M. are at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC, for the next few days. We’re going to be liveblogging the more interesting conference proceedings. You can follow us on twitter @planningpool or with the hashtag #np4sg2011.

Who here works for a local government?

HDR is an architecture/engineering/consulting firm headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, that has over 180 locations worldwide. The company was commissioned by Corpus Christi to formulate the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy necessary for the City to receive ARRA funds (stimulus funds) in the form of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG). The $3.2 billion EECBG program was modeled after the Community Block Grant program. Corpus Christi was awarded $2.5 million. … Continue Reading

San Luis Obispo County’s Local Adaptation Outcomes

Planning Pool authors, Daniella F. and Dylan M. are at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC, for the next few days. We’re going to be liveblogging the more interesting conference proceedings. You can follow us on twitter @planningpool or with the hashtag #np4sg2011

Supervisor Jim Patterson answers audience questions


San Luis Obispo County in California is a politically conservative area that was challenged in drafting and implementing a climate change adaptation plan. Faced with resource cuts and shortages and climate change disbelievers, the County struggled to create an effective adaptation plan.
The speakers, Kate Meis and Supervisor Jim Patterson outlined a number of factors that contributed to the strategy’s success:

  • Utilizing current opportunities- general plan updates and community plan, state and … Continue Reading

See you at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference!

Planning Pool will liveblogging from the 10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference in Charlotte, NC this week. This conference is organized by the Local Government Commission, a non-profit that promotes more livable communities.

You can follow @planningpool on Twitter or the #np4sg2011 hashtag to hear all about it.

What’s going to make this conference so interesting? Well, for all of you in Canada or the Pacific Northwest, it will be really interesting to see what kind of discussion about Smart Growth there is in a city that is famous for its suburban character. In other words, some things that you take for granted, like urban growth boundaries or inclusive zoning for affordable housing, are much more hotly contested here in NC.

The conference is going to cover smart growth, as well as healthy … Continue Reading

Top 10 Google Maps Tricks

To start off Tech Week, we’re going to talk about something that is near and dear to the hearts of many urban planners – Google Maps! Here’s a Top 10 list of great features in Google Maps:

  1. Directions – You already know that you can get directions from A to B on Google Maps, but did you know that you can get those directions for transit or for bikes? Just click on “directions” on the top left hand corner – the train looking thing represents transit directions and the bike icon represents cycling directions. They aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good!
  2. Street View – Street view is a great way to nab some precedent images or other images that show what the street looks like today. You can capture a screen shot of the street view and then import … Continue Reading

Photos from French Quarter, New Orleans

I went to the APA Conference in New Orleans in April. I thought you all might enjoy some gratuitous photos of the French Quarter! Note the nice spelling mistake of “pedestrian” in the last photo.

Planning Pool at Northern Voice Conference

Planning Pool presented at the Northern Voice 2010: Personal Blogging and Social Media Conference today about some of the successes that we’ve have on this blog! Here is a link to a page that describes our panel session.

We got some great feedback from audience members who read us (Thanks for reading us and giving us great feedback!!):

  • Be Bold! Convey ideas about really important planning issues and take a more controversial point of view. Channel that inner James Howard Kunstler!
  • Be Forward Thinking! Explain some of the urgent issues that we’re going to face in the coming years and how we should approach them.
  • Use More Multimedia! Show people what good urbanism looks like, so they can get excited about creating a community that is more urban.

What do you think? More videos or photo slideshows? … Continue Reading

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