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In January 2014, Uytae Lee (BCD, Honours ’16) and Byung Jun Kang (MPS ’17) created a YouTube channel called PLANifax. Motivated by the discovery that there are more videos on YouTube about astrophysics than municipal planning, the pair of third-year Bachelor of Community Design students decided to take matters into their own hands – and video cameras.

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After their first video was released, the Coast, Halifax’s weekly independent newspaper, contacted the two Dalhousie students about featuring PLANifax content on their website. The Coast partnership set things into motion for PLANifax, and the two founders haven’t stopped producing videos since. PLANifax created videos for various local organizations, including Halifax Harbour Bridges, Dalhousie University, Sierra Club Canada, Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Waterfront Development, and the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Byung Jun and Uytae believe that the best community design comes from informed, engaged members of the public. By translating policy documents, municipal regulations, and studies into a creative and accessible medium, the former Dalhousie students aim to inform the public to follow what is going on in their own backyards, and get involved in their community. Jacob Ritchie, the Urban Design Manager of Halifax, has said “PLANifax is this perfect start-up in Halifax, bringing planning in plain English to another level through videos.”

After incorporating as a non-profit co-operative association in 2015, PLANifax moved to a new office on campus, employed two Dalhousie students over the summer, and hosted over thirty volunteers. PLANifax is currently working on numerous video projects, like the Centre Plan video series with Halifax Regional Municipality.

Prior to founding PLANifax, Uytae was heavily involved in non-profit organizations and local advocacy groups, while Byung Jun has experience in working as a municipal planner. Their personalities and approaches to solve problems were complimentary to each other, and now they team up to promote better planning. Eventually, their passion as students turned into their career.

To learn more about PLANifax and to watch their videos, visit http://planifax.ca

 

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