Gaia College Marketing Manager CJ Rice sat down with Living Green Infrastructure instructor David Tracey with some questions about teaching and his passion of ecourbanism.

Q: David, how did you get interested in Gaia College?
A: I find teaching is like writing in that it helps me understand what I know (or need to know if I hope to help others on the path). When I learned Gaia College was rooted in the same ecological principles I’m passionate about, I wanted in.

Q: What led you to working in ecourbanism? And, is this the definition you would use to describe it?
A: Wow, I had no idea it was an academic pursuit with a literature of its own as described in that link. I just put together the two notions of ecological practice as key to our survival and the fact this transition has to happen in cities where most of us live. Ever since, I’ve tried to apply my academic training in politics and landscape architecture to real-world solutions in environmental design. So when people ask what I do, sometimes I say “community ecologist.” (Not that I know what it means either.)

Q: What do you love about living in Vancouver in general, and what (if anything) would you like to see change?
A: I love how new Vancouver feels. It’s like a gangly teenager, smart and a little stupid at the same time, but with potential to grow into something fabulous. Most encouraging is how it’s slowly discovering it isn’t really new at all, that there’s an indigenous wisdom here based on centuries of a deep relationship with the land.

Q: How did you get involved in Aboriginal policies, when your work is generally related to trees?
A: I only wish I had some involvement with aboriginal policies. I’m mostly just admiring from the sidelines, watching in awe as they continue to do the heavy lifting on campaigns like stopping Kinder Morgan profiteers from cooking the planet with more pipelines through more fragile landscapes.

You can read David Tracey's full instuctor bio here.