Planted City Principal Steven Godfrey has been an urbanist since childhood. On trips home from his grandparents' house his face would be pressed against the glass as his parents drove through downtown Vancouver. The transportation-themed Expo 86 and weekend bus trips downtown as a teenager were similarly important as they provided opportunities to ride Vancouver's first rapid transit line and consider life getting around without a car.
A year spent living and studying in the medieval "solar city" of Freiburg, Germany and the opportunity to spend six months teaching English as a Second Language in Seoul, Korea were similarly formative events in his life. Each enabled Steven to explore centuries-old walkable urban communities and introduced him to communities embracing sustainable community development. The latter experience was particularly motivating as he got a sense of the scale of the sustainability challenge given the demands of Asia's rapidly growing cities.
Steven pursued his interest in cities through an urban-focused undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Victoria (Bachelor of Arts with Distinction) and graduate studies at Queen's University's School of Urban and Regional Planning. In the latter he focused on land use and environmental planning and was a two time recipient of the Queen's Graduate Award. In the years since, Steven has continued working and learning; earning a certificate from the University of British Columbia's Summer Institute of Sustainability Leadership and completing a Simon Fraser University course on effective report writing for municipal government. He was also trained as a climate change communicator by former U.S. Vice-President, Al Gore and his non-profit organization, 'The Climate Reality Project'.
Steven is also a photographer, small space gardener and citizen. His photos have appeared in print and online publications in Canada and around the world. He has also been involved in a number of local election campaigns supporting sustainability-championing candidates for office. Steven continues to volunteer in the Vancouver community.