Grad profile: Shaping cities for people

Tim Jacobs, Planning (Architecture and Planning)

- May 30, 2023

Tim Jacobs. (Provided photo)
Tim Jacobs. (Provided photo)

This article is part of a series focusing on the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2023. Spring Convocation runs from May 29 to June 7 in Halifax and Truro. Read all our profiles here as they are published, and for more information visit the Convocation website.

Tim Jacobs, Bachelor of Community Design, is one of Dalhousie’s Spring 2023 graduating students, receiving a Bachelors of Community Design (Honours) in Urban Design and Planning.

Tim was born in Pretoria, South Africa and immigrated to Canada at a young age, growing up in the sprawling suburbs of Calgary, Alberta. After high school, Tim began a career in restaurant management, though the experience of opening a new restaurant and watching the city grow around him inspired him to make a change and enrol in university to pursue Urban Planning.

Since transferring to Dalhousie in 2020, Tim has furthered his passion for his discipline both in and out of the classroom. In his final year, he became involved with student leadership as the President of the Society of Undergraduate Planners to advocate for his peers and give back to the community that accepted him as a transfer student only two years prior.

What brought you to Dalhousie?

I was pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Calgary, with a plan to go on to receive a Masters of Planning. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everything and gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my future and take a chance on a more prestigious school – In September 2020 I transferred to Dalhousie, and my partner and I moved to Halifax.

Why did you choose the program you’re graduating from?

I always knew I wanted to work in Planning, though the Bachelor of Community Design provided the opportunity to receive an accredited Urban Planning degree while being immersed in the living laboratory of downtown Halifax in the Sexton Campus.

Is there any significant research you plan on pursuing?

I have always been fascinated by the way people interact with the built environment, though I could talk for hours about the ways in which our environment shapes our behaviour through the intersection of land use and transportation. I would like to explore more equitable, bottom-up approaches that governments, advocates, and citizens can take to advance sustainable urban design, which can help shape our cities as we navigate contemporary challenges such as pandemics and climate change.

What is a significant memory or memories from your time here?

One of my favourite experiences at Dalhousie was the opportunity to work as a research assistant for Dr. Mikiko Terashima’s PEACH Research Unit, exploring the ways in which our cities can disadvantage persons with disabilities in ways I had not considered. This involved assisting with research through community consultations and surveying, and gave me the opportunity to work with an incredible group of researchers who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place.

What will you miss most about your program/school?

I will miss the people I met the most. Dalhousie gave me the opportunity to work very closely with my peers in a collaborative environment. Urban Planning education is notorious for group work, but it brings us closer in the end.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I already knew that I would be returning to school to pursue a master’s degree after graduation; what I didn’t know was that I wouldn’t even leave the building. I have already started working as a Project Coordinator for Dalhousie’s Transportation Collaboratory (DalTRAC), where I get to work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to advance sustainable transportation in Halifax and beyond. Currently, we’re working on a nation-wide transportation project to develop models which cities can use to predict transportation needs, but also model greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which can be used to inform more effective climate change policies. This experience will no-doubt give me the foundation I need to undertake my own research, and maybe one day found my own research lab.

Academic achievements:

- Sexton Scholar distinction each semester

- John L. and Glenna E. Towse Scholarship 2021-2022

- Research Assistant PEACH Research Unit Summer 2022

- Dalhousie IMPACT Award – Architecture and Planning Faculty Leadership Award 2023


All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus