Kimberley Hodgson, MURP, MS, AICP, RD | Founder and Principal Consultant
Ms. Hodgson is the founder of Cultivating Healthy Places, an international consulting business specializing in community health, social equity, and sustainable food systems planning. As a certified planner and health professional, her work focuses on conducting policy-relevant research and providing technical assistance to the public and private sectors related to the design and development of healthy, sustainable places.She has taught graduate courses on the connections between health, food systems, and planning; established national food system coalitions and partnerships; given numerous presentations on health and food systems planning across the United States; and authored a variety of research and policy reports, promotional and educational materials, and newspaper articles.
As the former Senior Research Associate and Manager of the Planning and Community Health Research Center at the American Planning Association, Ms. Hodgson managed several national research projects and engaged in multiple outreach and education activities, which focused on the integration of community health issues into contemporary urban and regional planning practice. She was the principal investigator of two research studies to identify and analyze municipal comprehensive and sustainability plans from across the United States that explicitly address public health, particularly active living and food access. She is co-author of Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy Sustainable Places and a co-author of the Principles of a Healthy, Sustainable Food System. She also served on multiple national advisory committees related to health and the built environment and provided expertise to the First Lady’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force on food systems and food access.Prior to her work with APA, she assisted in the development of the City of Alexandria’s sustainability vision and plan, providing the City with expertise in community health, active living and food systems. She has also worked extensively in the research, development and implementation of a variety of food policy and nutrition programs targeting youth and young adults in New York City, Boston and Southwest Virginia—farm to school, school wellness policy, nutrition education, nutrition communication, and health promotion.
Ms. Hodgson a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC), a co-chair of the VFPC’s Policy Landscapes subcommittee, a steering committee member of the American Planning Association’s Food Interest Group, and the vice-chair of the Health and Safety Committee of the STAR Community Index.
She holds an undergraduate degree from New York University in pre-medicine, a Master of Science in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning with a specialization in community health and sustainability from Virginia Tech.
Wendy Mendes, PhD | Cultivating Healthy Places Collaborator
Dr. Mendes is an academic and urban planner with over 10 years experience building healthy and sustainable communities. She holds a PhD in urban geography from Simon Fraser University. From 2006-2008, Dr. Mendes held the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Urban Health Initiatives (CUHI). Her research and planning expertise focuses on urban sustainability, healthy cities, local governance, public policy, and sustainable food systems.Dr. Mendes is currently Adjunct Professor at the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia; Research Associate at Ryerson University’s Centre for Studies in Food Security; Instructor in Ryerson University’s Certificate in Food Security, and urban planner for the City of Vancouver.With a unique combination of experience in public, academic and non-profit sectors, Dr. Mendes has honed an exceptional ability to build bridges between diverse stakeholders, increase community capacity, create partnerships, and embed sustainability thinking in municipal planning and policy. She has a solid record of peer-reviewed academic research and university teaching, coupled with front line urban planning expertise including strategic policy development, public engagement, facilitation, and project management. The result is an ability to combine cutting edge research with innovative planning practices to yield collaborative solutions to complex sustainability challenges. Her work has taken her across Canada, the U.S. and Brazil where she has worked with organizations including:
- The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (Montréal)
- The Wellesley Institute (Toronto)
- Jane’s Walk (Toronto)
- International Development Research Centre (Ottawa)
- The Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory (Vancouver)
- MOSAIC (Vancouver)
- Resource Centres for Urban Agriculture and Food Security
- Local governments and NGOs in the Brazilian cities of Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza
Dr. Mendes is a member of the Canadian Association of Food Studies; and past member of the American Planning Association Food Systems Planning Group; the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Reference Group on the Healthy Food for All initiative; and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Urban Agriculture Advisory Committee for UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum III.
Nicki Sandberg, MURP | Cultivating Healthy Places Collaborator
Ms. Sandberg is an urban planner and geographic information systems (GIS) specialist. After completing her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, she went on to obtain her master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech with an emphasis on food systems and spatial analysis.Ms. Sandberg’s work in the planning field has focused on using spatial analysis tools to explore the links between health, food resources, land use, and the built environment. She has lent her GIS expertise to community planning projects including a client service area assessment for a food bank in Arlington, Virginia, and the development of a sector plan for the Metro expansion in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. Additionally, she has collaborated as a GIS specialist on two food resource mapping projects, providing data collection, management, and analysis expertise and performing spatial overlay, suitability and network analyses. First, as part of a multi-disciplinary team with the cooperative extension service, she built a database and mapping tool using health, food and land use data to assess the social, political and economic networks that support community food systems in North Carolina and Virginia. Later, she partnered with the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University to map features of the food environment in Baltimore City and analyze the coincidence of impoverished neighborhoods and areas of poor food access to provide recommendations for policymakers and planning professionals. She has also contributed to the Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council’s series of policy briefs addressing the spatial and environmental considerations for urban agriculture and the impact of food environments on personal health.For the past two years, Ms. Sandberg has served as a Business Advisor in Honduras with the Peace Corps where she partnered with local community members to execute projects aimed at improving personal health and nutrition, engaging youth and promoting sustainable business practices. She successfully developed and implemented dynamic training workshops for youth and adults on basic sanitation, healthy cooking, financial management, product marketing, small business planning, and group collaboration. She worked regionally with gender specialists to provide training tools and technical assistance for women’s income generation projects and also coordinated a national artisan fair in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy. Her experience enabled her to gain fluency in Spanish and collaborate with diverse community stakeholders while developing a passion for Latin American culture and building relationships abroad.For more information about Ms. Sandberg’s work and experience, please visit her online portfolio at nickisandberg.carbonmade.com.