At a time when planning practices clash with urbanization and grassroots movements, winter city designs seemingly skim the surface of the already contested public realm. A move towards col weather-friendly cities is trending in the urban planning profession, encouraging people to get outside and embrace colder weather; but wherein these designs do they plan for spaces that welcome and embrace vulnerable populations? Nicole Cronkhite’s research analyzes these emerging trends from a social equity lens to help urban planners gain new insights on what impacts of winter city design guidelines have on vulnerable and low-income populations. Upon completion, the findings will help guide planners in creating public space plans that truly create warm, welcoming, and dignified spaces for all. 

Nicole Cronkhite started her career in Interior Design after graduating from NAIT in 2010. She completed a Bachelor of Technology from NAIT in 2019, focusing on sustainability and global citizenship. Driven by her innate sense of curiosity and passion for how spaces impact the people that use them, she began the Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Alberta in 2020. Nicole currently sits as the Diversity, Outreach, and Volunteer Coordinator on ATLAS, the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Students’ Society, and was involved in the creation of the department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.