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Faculty of Community Services

Samantha Biglieri


MPl, PhD candidate


416-979-5000, ext. 5165


Samantha Biglieri is a PhD candidate in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo (UW), and has her master of planning from Ryerson. Samantha works for The Biglieri Group Ltd., a planning, development and project management firm and has practice experience in the private, NGO and research sectors, with a focus on land-use planning, feasibility analysis, policy, and strategic planning.

Samantha’s research is at the intersection of planning practice and public health – centred on the importance of creating fully accessible, inclusive and meaningful spaces to improve the wellbeing of all, no matter their ability, gender, age, socio-economic status, gender identity or ethnicity. Specifically, Samantha works with community-dwelling people living with dementia, seeking to understand the influence of the neighbourhood built environment on wellbeing, and then connecting this research to practice recommendations that planners can use to create more inclusive and just cities.

Samantha is active in the community, as part of the UW Symposium on Aging Research’s Organization Committee, an Advisory Committee member for the UW Network on Aging Research, a member of the Evergreen Age-Friendly City Working Group and Mid-Size Cities Research Collective as well as a Board Director for the Toronto Council on Aging.

Research Interests:

Research interests:

  • Land use planning and policy
  • Public health
  • Dementia-friendly cities
  • Accessibility
  • Just cities
  • Wayfinding

Research projects:

  • Examining Graduate Students' Roles in Fostering Female Advancement in Academia Role: Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) Funded By: HeForShe Gender Equity Research Grant, University of Waterloo Co-PIs: Dr. Carrie Mitchell and Katherine Laycock, PhD Candidate
  • Planning a Dementia-Friendly City Role: Principal Investigator, PhD thesis work Funded By: Ontario Graduate Scholarship, University of Waterloo

Current Courses:

  • PLG 120: Understanding the Planning Process

Selected Publications:

  • Biglieri, S. (2017). Implementing Dementia-Friendly Land Use Policy: An evaluation of current literature and financial implications for greenfield development in suburban Canada. Planning Practice and Research. DOI:
  • Biglieri, S. & M. Hartt. (in press). Prepared for the Silver Tsunami? An Examination of Municipal Old-Age Dependency and Age-Friendly Policy in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Urban Affairs.
  • Biglieri, S. & M. Hartt. (2017). Aging and Age-Friendly Policy in Ontario’s Mid-Sized Cities, in Leveraging Ontario’s Urban Potential: Mid-Sized Cities Research Series. Prepared By: Members of the Evergreen Mid-Sized Cities Research Collaborative. Retrieved from:
  • Biglieri, S. & Dean, J. (2017). Aging in Suburbia, in Still detached and subdivided? Suburban ways of living in 21st century North America. Edited By: M. Moos and R. Walter-Joseph.
  • Biglieri, S. (Fall 2017). Dementia + Planning: Expanding accessibility through design and planning practice. Plan Canada, Vol. 53, Issue 3.
  • Biglieri, S. & M. Hartt. (Fall 2017). Understanding Municipal-level Demographic Dependency and Age-Friendly Policy: Results from Ontario. Plan Canada, Vol. 53, Issue 3.
  • Biglieri, S. (in press). The Law of Unintended Consequences: Understanding the intersection of property taxes with transition land uses and social housing. Report prepared for: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University.

Selected Publications & Presentations:

  • GradTALKS Speaker – Knowledge Translation Award ($500), University of Waterloo, 2017 (Selected as one of the two featured speakers for the GradTALKS event on ‘Aging, Health and Wellbeing’).
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15,000 per year), University of Waterloo, 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship ($5,000 per year), University of Waterloo, 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • Travel Award ($1,350), Graduate Students Office, University of Waterloo, 2017.
  • Travel Award ($1,000), Graduate Students Office, University of Waterloo, 2016.
  • Travel Award - Summer Program in Aging ($1,000), Institute of Aging, Canadian Institute of Health Research, 2016.
  • Best Poster/Presentation Award, Symposium on Aging Research, University of Waterloo, 2016.
  • Provost Doctoral Entrance Award for Women ($5,000), University of Waterloo, 2015.
  • School of Planning Entrance Scholarship ($5,000), University of Waterloo, 2015.
  • Dean’s Graduate Essay Writing Award, Ryerson University, 2015.
  • Graduate Students of 2011 Studio Award, Ryerson University, 2015.
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15,000), Ryerson University, 2014.
  • Ryerson Graduate Award ($2,500), Ryerson University, 2013.

Position Currently Held:

Contract Lecturer

Awards and honours

Contact details