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

Reading Memo: Demand for Transportation

This is just a quick note to summarize and reflect on a recent reading I had – specifically Chapter 1 (“Desire for Movement”) of J.M. Thomson’s Modern Transport Economics.

[IN]CITY Final: Sky Gardens

The last two weeks of the [IN]CITY summer program have flown by like a whirlwind. After copious readings and precedent studies, our class finally took on the daunting task of crafting a series of redevelopment proposals for the North Berkeley BART station. My team was given the somewhat enviable assignment to go “sky-high” and shoot … Continue reading [IN]CITY Final: Sky Gardens


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