Meg  Holden Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Meg Holden

Simon Fraser University

Meg Holden is a teacher and researcher in pursuit of pragmatic sustainability and quality of life solutions in contemporary cities. Her thinking draws from practical and academic work that has spanned the forests of the outer BC coast, planning in small communities and the major cities of BC, advocacy and environmental literacy work in the Gulf Islands, Jersey City, and Chicago, and urban sustainability policy and well-being studies in Metro Vancouver, Melbourne, Paris, and farther afield.


Meg Holden is Professor of Urban Studies and Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She has held visiting posts at RMIT University Melbourne at the Global Cities Research Institute and at the Université de Paris, la Sorbonne, at the LADYSS (Laboratoire Dynamiques sociales et recomposition des espaces).
Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Meg Holden received her B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental Geography from the University of Victoria, where she learned about old growth forests, the pulp and paper industry, natural processes, urbanization processes, and the importance of culture and politics in living as part of these processes. There, she witnessed the Clayoquot Sound protests, which ultimately prevailed in that particular war in the woods, and the outlawing of clearcutting in British Columbia. She went on to pursue her MSc at Rutgers University, now focusing more on planning studies and the integration of human and environmental goals in community development processes. While there, she witnessed the thrills of commuting on Highway 1-9, 89 cent per gallon gasoline, and the chupacabra in Liberty State Park. To pursue her PhD, she left her disciplinary background in geography to gain interdisciplinary perspective as a member of the first cohort in Public and Urban Policy at the New School for Social Research, where she also studied philosophical pragmatism. Her research continues to carry these traces and to ask how and why questions about the engagement of communities of people and ideas with major challenges of unsustainable development, the paths taken and avoided, the knowledge we need and the knowledge and social tools that we have at our disposal.  


    PhD, New School for Social Research, New York City, 2004

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    sustainability assessment, sustainability indicators, community well-being, community indicators, environmental pragmatism, urban studies, urban sustainability, public participation, urban planning, social planning and policy, urban environmental policy, comparative case study research, action research, social learning, urban governance

Personal Interests

    She loves cities and forests in equal measure. Her all-time favourite emcee is Special Ed.



Featured Title
 Featured Title - The City, Pragmatism, Urban Discourse: Holden - 1st Edition book cover



Review of PJSC in Journal of Planning Education and Research

By: Meg Holden

Review of Pragmatic Justifications for the Sustainable City by Jared Enriquez in JPER.

Review of Pragmatic Justifications for the Sustainable City in Canadian Geographer

By: Meg Holden
Subjects: Environment and Sustainability, Geography , Urban Planning, Urban Studies

My book, Pragmatic Justifications for the Sustainable City: Acting in the common place, was recently reviewed in The Canadian Geographer. Read the review here.