Mobycon Ottawa welcomes Wayne Gong to the team

With a growing demand for Dutch inspired mobility expertise in North America, our Ottawa team is pleased to welcome our newest team member, Wayne Gong. He is bringing nearly a decade of experience from the City of Edmonton as a member of their transportation planning and then neighbourhood renewal teams following his graduation from the University of Alberta Civil Engineering program and becoming a certified member of the Association for Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

 

Wayne’s experience is a welcome addition to our North American team, providing a combination of planning and engineering knowledge to our diverse projects in Canada and the US. As a Professional Engineer and member of the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers, he helps to round out our ability to support our clients on a diverse array of mobility projects.

Appreciating Cycling from a young age

Wayne grew up in China and gained a sense of childhood independence by riding to school as early as Grade 4. With his bicycle, he has the ability to explore a greater area of his city with his friends, not limited a small radius around his home. Cycling was a common-sense transportation mode in China before cities began embracing automobiles, and the increased air pollution and congestion that brought with it. This understanding of the freedom and independence the bicycle can provide helps inspire Wayne’s work in the field today.

 

Helping Edmonton become more cycle-friendly

When asked about his career thus far, Wayne says one of his biggest project successes was the planning and delivering of the City of Edmonton’s first protected residential bike network. The staged project spans seven neighbourhoods, connecting residents with schools, community centres, local retail and into the downtown core. The finished upgrade has resulted in an increase in cycling volumes of up to 300% and a decrease in shortcutting traffic through the neighbourhoods. This accomplishment motivated Wayne to continue his work to make Edmonton more cycle friendly.

Wayne also spearheaded numerous neighbourhood renewal projects by providing holistic and context-sensitive mobility solutions. This helped make the communities more walkable, bikeable and livable. “Transportation infrastructure needs to serve beyond its physical functionality,” says Wayne. “Through streetscaping and placemaking, a street or a bike lane can look aesthetically attractive, encouraging social activities that improve neighbourhood connection and pride.”

Also an avid gardener, Wayne helped found the Grower’s Dozen Community Garden in his Parkdale neighbourhood in 2016. Produce from the communal garden contributed to the annual harvest dinner, a free event to all community members. This past summer, he hosted guests to the garden as part of a community garden bike tour. The garden provides him the opportunity to connect with his community in a meaningful way.

Finding inspiration in the Dutch Approach

In the summer 2019, Wayne and his wife, Xiaobin, decided to take a break from work and their garden to spend three weeks traveling in Europe. They attended the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Conference in Groningen, followed by visits to several other cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Their trip included a visit to Mobycon’s head office in Delft. By all accounts this visit to the Netherlands was a defining moment to both see and experience Dutch bicycle infrastructure firsthand.  The experience is what inspired Wayne to join the Mobycon team to support projects that combine both Dutch and North American best practices.

Ready to join the team

At the start of January, Wayne officially joined the Mobycon team, spending two weeks with his new Ottawa-based colleagues–Elizabeth Allingham, Justin Goulding–and welcomed by Founder Johan Diepens who traveled over from Delft. Wayne and Xiaobin will make the official move to Ottawa from Edmonton in February, taking time to pack up their Western Canada.

Wayne is excited to be part of the Mobycon Ottawa office moving from one winter city to another. He is eager to get on his bike in Ottawa, and yes he does ride to work, even when it is -35 Celsius and the streets are covered in snow. Welcome to the team, Wayne!

Wayne is ready and available if you’d like to introduce yourself and learn more about how he can help you with your upcoming project. Email him here.

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