Michael has always insisted on the highest standard of excellence in his professional practice and teaching. He was part of the CityPlan team at the City of Vancouver in the 1990’s that received national and international awards for the City of Vancouver’s CityPlan engagement process, which at the time, was one of the largest city-wide projects ever. Since 2000, Michael has been President of MVH Urban Planning & Design working on projects in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Russia, and China. Most recently, Michael’s commitment to excellence in planning was recognized by the 2014 PIBC Gold Award for the City of Penticton Downtown Plan with the City of Penticton and the 2014 APPI Award of Merit for the Leduc Downtown Master Plan with the City of Leduc. In 2013, his firm won the international eco-city design competition for Huangshi, China with the Guangzhou Planning Institute. Michael’s unique combination of strong public engagement, illustration/urban design and planning policy skills has resulted in a new expectation that planning documents have a strong combination of all three components.
Michael has mentored planners both in a formal sense throughout his teaching career, but also informally with those he works on projects with across the country and around the world. Michael helped create the award-winning Simon Fraser University Urban Design Certificate program and has trained many mid-career planning professionals over the past 15 years in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa. He is also adjunct professor in the Graduate Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University and adjunct professor in the Graduate Community Planning Program at Vancouver Island University. In addition, Michael developed and facilitates the three School of Development courses for the Urban Development Institute in Vancouver.
Michael’s latest book - Dynamic Urban Design: A Handbook for Creating Sustainable Communities Worldwide has received high praise from numerous high-profile planners and designers across Canada and the United States. Dynamic Urban Design is now used by five university and college programs across Canada as a foundation to teach community design.