In the 11th grade, Nishanthan Balasubramaniam took a world issues course that got him thinking outside of what he calls a grade 11 mindset. The term “urban planning” came up, and he was intrigued. He went home, did some research and before he knew it, he was finishing his Masters with the hopes of a career in urban planning. Through this journey, he developed a keen interest in the environment.
His journey has taken him to Leipzig, Germany to create a plan to increase the city's shrinking population. Additionally, it has led him onto the Board of Directors of the Box Grove Community Centre in Markham, Ontario. His role on the board has included environmental initiatives including eco-friendly light bulb upgrades in the community centre. When I spoke with Nishanthan, he spoke passionately about his plans for making the centre paper-free. He also mentioned that he wants the centre to be used by a variety of community groups, and is encouraging events for seniors and youth.
Another hat that Nishanthan wears these days is as an employee at Lura Consulting, a group that emphasized bringing communities together to build a better connection with society and nature. His big project focuses on the Leslieville area of Toronto, Ontario, where he acts like a community liaison, bringing community concerns to the table as three infield sites get developed.
Nishanthan's work reflects a very holistic understanding of the relationship between nature and society. He is eager to travel and experience the world and learn from the many different places on his bucket list. For his big picture ideas, and on the ground practical work, we are happy to have someone like Nishanthan looking out for our communities.