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The Trip Diary: Geographies of Identity — with Lori Macdonald and Sadia Tabassum

Date created
Author: Johal, Am
Author: Paige Smith
Author: Kathy Feng
Author: Alyha Bardi
Author: Steve Tornes
Author: Alex Masse
On this first episode of The Trip Diary, Steve Tornes speaks with Lori Macdonald and Sadia Tabassum about their research on transit-based mobility through an equitable lens. Lori discusses how recent migrants to the City of Vancouver learn and familiarize themselves to a new public transportation network, while Sadia describes how transit spaces affect women of colour in different ways, pushing back against the concept of the "universal transit user". Both Lori and Sadia discuss their research methods and how they approach the study of personalized experiences. The episode ends with a series of policy recommendations.
Lori MacDonald is a white settler on the traditional, stolen territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations where she aims for a future surrounded by justice, dignity and reciprocal relationship-building.She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Contemporary Dance and a Masters in Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University. During her thesis research: Mapping Daily Mobility in Metro Vancouver: An Ethnography of Regional Transportation for Newcomers Studying within the Service Industry, she was witness to the emergence of mobility as settlement and belonging in the region. In her professional role as the Executive Director of the Emily Carr Students' Union, she has spent over a decade, advocating, lobbying and when necessary – protesting – for the development of Metro Vancouver's deeply affordable post-secondary transit program, U-Pass BC. She has spent time during the pandemic questioning everything she has ever accepted as normal.Sadia Tabassum currently lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she grew up. It's supposed to be one of the most "unlivable" cities in the world, but Sadia finds that livability is about as simple as the bus routes and schedules in Dhaka.Sadia studied Architecture as an undergraduate student in upstate New York in the US and later worked as a cost estimator for a rebar supplier company near Syracuse, NY. When she returned to Dhaka, Sadia worked as an architect for a few years before eventually working on the first light rail project in Dhaka, the new MRT line, drafting electrical and mechanical system drawings for its stations. She left that role to join the Urban Studies graduate program at SFU, during which time Sadia worked briefly as a designer/researcher for a non-profit organization in Vancouver where she helped create toolkits for social procurement among developers and suppliers in ongoing development projects.Sadia's current projects in Dhaka continue to be inspired by her love for architecture, sustainable design and innovative transit-oriented city planning that help create more accessible, equitable, sustainable and livable urban spaces.Resources: Meet Steve Tornes: Daily Mobility in Metro Vancouver: Fear, Perceived Safety and Transit-Based Mobility Among Women of Color in Metro Vancouver: Voices Report: Untokening: Institute:
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