I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. From an early age, I was interested in exploring and understanding cities, neighbourhoods and urban life. This has turned into an academic curiousity into understanding the complexities of urban development and change. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in 2003. During my third year, I have the opportunity to participate in an exchange to the University of Edinburgh.
In the fall of 2004, I moved to the Netherlands to pursue a Research Master's in Human Geography and Planning at Utrecht University, which I completed in 2006. This formed the basis for my PhD in Urban Geography from Utrecht, which was successfully defended in 2010. This research examined two large flagship waterfront regeneration projects in Glasgow and Rotterdam and asked the question of who profits from this form of urban redevelopment. I used a combination of interviews with key stakeholders and surveys of local residents to better understand both the production of these projects and how they are used and experienced by local residents.
After my PhD, I continued working in the Netherlands. From 2009 - 2015 I was employed in the Department of Human Geography at Utrecht University. In October 2015, I started working as a Senior Lecturer at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam, where I was tasked with setting up a new urban studies teaching program. I left Erasmus in May 2017 to take up an appointment as an Associate Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
I publish on issues related to gentrification, flagships and urban change. I have recently published an edited book Why Detroit Matters: Decline, renewal and hope in a divided city, whick seeks to understand the key lessons from Detroit. This book was published in April 2017 with Policy Press. I am currently working on a new book, Streetcars and the Changing Geography of Toronto (with Michael Doucet). In this book, we are using historic and contemporary photos taken by streetcar enthusiasts (some of the few people who took photos in 'ordinary' parts of cities) to better understand the changing urban, economic and social geography of Canada's largest city. This book is under advanced contract with the University of Toronto Press.
I am a keen cycling and a three time former Dutch men's curing champion (2008, 2010, 2011). In each of these years, we represented the Netherlands at the European Curing Championships. Before that, I coached the Greek national curling team in 2004 and 2005.
I am a native English speaker. I am also fluent in Dutch and speak conversational French and basic German.
I currently live in Waterloo, Ontario, with my wife and young daughter.