Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People 2012
Meet the people who are changing your world – and find out how they’re doing it
by Max Fawcett, Michael Ganley, Alix Kemp and Geoffrey Morgan
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Simon O’Byrne has long been one of Edmonton’s most prominent and vocal urban planners. A vice-president at Stantec Consulting and the practice leader for urban planning, he has been the principal planner on many new communities throughout the Capital Region and has been involved with several prominent projects, including the Downtown Arena and Entertainment District plan, the Capital Region Land Use Plan and the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan. O’Byrne is a vocal supporter of walkable communities, green initiatives and affordable housing, but it’s his volunteer work that stands out this year. He is on the board of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and is chair of Edmonton’s Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, a group trying to develop a vibrant core for a city that desperately needs one. In the latter role, he came out in favour of the downtown arena and entertainment complex proposed by the Katz Group, bringing a credible voice to the debate over a project that, if it proceeds, will transform the downtown for decades to come.