Kira Gerwing MA 2005

Current Work:  Manager of Community Investment, VanCity                                                                                                

I am currently a Manager of Community Investment for Vancity Credit Union.  My work focusses on working with mission-driven organisations to develop social purpose real estate projects: community-owned, financially sustainable, affordable, and high environmentally performing buildings. I came to Vancity after eight years of urban planning in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods with the City of Vancouver. Prior to that, I worked with the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella on land use planning and community-based economic development that was grounded in their traditional knowledge and systems of governance. 

Starting from my time at SCARP, I fuelled and shaped my passion to find creative and engaging ways that would ensure everyone’s fundamental right to flourish.  To me, this is the essential role of a 21st century planner.  As such, my efforts have centred on local economic development: crafting deals that create high-value, positive impact in communities and that leverage emerging opportunities in sustainability sectors of the economy.  I’ve worked on projects and policies for affordable housing and social purpose real estate development, as well as local food, materials diversion, the creative economy, community-based forestry, sustainable fisheries, and eco-tourism.  I’m married to an environmental entrepreneur who works with me to parent two fine young children, and I love riding my bike in fancy shoes to get around the city!