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Town of Amherst hirers new land-use planner

Abiola Falaye is the newest member of the ‘A’ team.

Falaye joined the Town of Amherst as its new land-use planner and geographic information system technician on Nov. 3, 2022.

He comes with extensive training and experience in both fields, having graduated with a bachelor of technology in urban and regional planning from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomoso, Nigeria, and a masters in urban planning from Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom.

In addition, Falaye has a masters in environmental management, which was jointly granted by Christian Albrechts University in Keil, Germany, and AdamsAbiola B Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, as well as a graduate certificate in geospatial data analytics from the Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre of Geographic Sciences, based in Lawrencetown, Annapolis County.

Falaye has experience in both research and practice of urban and regional planning. In academia, Falaye has worked as a research assistant in three of his alma maters. He has also worked as a project officer – infrastructure policy at Arctic Infrastructure, a private establishment in Nigeria that has a broad focus on infrastructure delivery, urban development and the environment.

In addition, he has worked as a planning data analyst with VAXA Networks, a company in New Hampshire that focuses on delivering open and secure network infrastructure to rural communities and as a junior project developer – GIS with SWEB Developments, a renewable energy firm based in Austria that has offices in Canada and the United States.

His most recent employment prior to joining the ‘A’ team was as a research associate with the Applied Geomatics Research Group, Nova Scotia Community College. Applied Geomatics applies advanced mapping techniques to solve problems and support sustainable development in coastal zones and aquaculture.

He is looking forward to working here in Amherst.

“The position with the Town of Amherst gives me the opportunity to put my skills into use towards developing a resilient, sustainable and inclusive community,” Falaye said.

His first impressions of the town were favourable.

“Amherst is a small town with a mix of both an urban and country vibe,” he said. “The town has a slogan, ‘see why we love it.’ Well, I can actually see why you love it.”

He was also impressed with the welcome he received from his new peers

“I liked the fact the people were welcoming,” Falaye said. “They were happy to have me here and the resources to do my job were provided. I already feel integrated into the workforce. As a planner, I feel so proud to be part of this community because it is a community that has the future in mind. I look forward to working with my colleagues.”

In welcoming Falaye to the town, CAO Jason MacDonald noted Amherst is in the process of updating its land-use bylaws and municipal planning strategy. As a result, he said the town was very pleased to have someone with the Falaye’s “extensive and impressive background in the planning environment.”

“Abiola is passionate about the administration of equitable, sustainable, productive and inclusive planning and development strategies,” MacDonald added. “We are fortunate to have him as a valuable addition to our group. We are confident he will love it here as much as we do.”