If there’s one thing Cyrielle Noël fears, it’s falling into routine.
It’s not something she has to worry about often – one glance at the Ocean Bridge alum’s social media timelines will prove that.
In fact, just one day after returning home to Montréal from Ocean Bridge’s five-day urban learning journey in Ottawa, Cyrielle was right back in the nation’s capital. The reason? Training prior to departing for the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., from Feb 8-13 as a delegate of the United Nations Association – Canada Service Corps.
“It was cool to meet other planners from around the world, people who are trying to address sustainable urbanization,” explains Cyrielle.
Coming from a background of marine spatial planning, she noticed there was plenty of the typical talk about “green space,” but almost nothing on “blue space.”
“That’s shocking to me because if you’re in an urban climate, you understand that cities have been founded on waterways for specific reasons, and that context between land and sea is really important when it comes to urbanization,” says Noël, who has an extensive background in urban and spatial planning.
The concept of incorporating “blue space” into urban planning has sat with Cyrielle for a while now. And thanks to her recent admission to the Local Pathways Fellowship cohort, it’s one she’s hoping to develop more concretely.
Led by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Youth Initiative, the program “supports 128 young urban leaders, activist, artists, architects, entrepreneurs and advocates, to champion pathways and solutions for localizing sustainable development.”
As part of her project, she currently plans to develop a template for the design of a blue public space – a park, market or a square, for example.
It’s something her year-long experience with Ocean Bridge prepared her well for.
“I think there’s more interesting things you can explore in landlocked areas,” explains Cyrielle. “In the interior of Canada, what does blue public space look like in places that don’t have that abundant access (to the ocean)? And how can that push the needle to have people care about our waterways more?”
To top it all off, Cyrielle has left her mark on Ocean Bridge in a new way: she’s now working as a program specialist with Ocean Bridge’s 2020 Atlantic cohort. On her to-do list include mentorship calls, assisting ambassadors to get most of their experience, and designing the remote learning journeys to Eastport and Halifax.
“It’s super fun, there’s a diversity of tasks, the colleagues are awesome, I get to chat with lots of different people – and you know I love a good chat!” she says with a laugh. “And I can be creative, which I think is the most important thing for me right now.
“I dread doing the same thing over and over, so it’s really wonderful.”