Intro: Simon Tan

I’m an aspiring urbanist, on a journey to start my second career as an urban planner. Currently taking a variety of educational courses in a pre-graduate school phase.

My previous career was a 10+ year run as a product manager in the software industry. I worked for companies including Dropbox, Atlassian, Box, and Microsoft, specializing in mobile & enterprise productivity SaaS (cloud software).

While I’m passionate about the future of work and mobile productivity, I retired from the tech industry in 2020 to pursue my other lifelong passion in urban planning, where I have much more to learn and new ways to grow. I’ve been involved with nonprofits such as SPUR, SF Transit Riders, and Seamless Bay Area for years, but I’m taking this hobby to the next level.

Brisk mobility largely defined my style as a product manager in tech, and I anticipate this is an element I will carry with me as I enter this entirely new field. I look forward to documenting the journey here and invite you to connect and offer any advice or suggestions along the way!

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Recent Posts

California is Anti-Development

This semester, I’ve been taking a course on land use and planning law with a focus on contemporary planning practice in California. As a longtime California resident who has been constantly seeking to understand why planning outcomes are often so disappointing here, I can attest that the content covered in the course has been quite … Continue reading California is Anti-Development

SF Voter Guide – November 2020

For those living in California (and San Francisco in particular), this year’s election ballot is a doozy. In addition to all the elected officials, there are up to 25 (!) propositions to vote on. This is a consequence of the love of “direct democracy” and local control that defines California politics. Instead of just trusting … Continue reading SF Voter Guide – November 2020


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