Intro: Simon Tan

I’m an aspiring urbanist, on a journey to start a new career as an urban planner. Currently taking graduate school courses and aiming to finish in 2022.

I previously had a 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 left 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 now 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 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

  • Memo: Regional Transport 5
    Part of a series of “reading memos” that offer a brief summary of interesting academic content along with my personal reflections. This one covers Chapter 6 & 10 (Regional Transportation & Urban Transportation Finance) of Giuliano & Hanson’s The Geography of Urban Transportation.
  • Road to a Master’s Thesis: Final Research Proposal
    After extensive discussions with my faculty advisor and colleagues, this reflects my commitment to a research project as part of the requirements of a Masters in Urban Planning degree. Your feedback, thoughts, and potential assistance (if you work in tech!) would be greatly appreciated.
  • Memo: Regional Transport 4
    Part of a series of “reading memos” that offer a brief summary of interesting academic content along with my personal reflections. This one covers Chapter 9 (Land Use Impacts of Transportation Investments) of Giuliano & Hanson’s The Geography of Urban Transportation.
  • A Tale of Two Streets
    An analysis of the urban design qualities of two streets, based on the works of Allan B. Jacobs, Jan Gehl, Edmund Bacon, and Kevin Lynch. Collins Street, Melbourne Collins Street is a major commercial thoroughfare in the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD). This street incorporates all of Allan Jacobs’ “requirements for great streets” … Continue reading A Tale of Two Streets
  • Memo: Regional Transport 3
    Part of a series of “reading memos” that offer a brief summary of interesting academic content along with my personal reflections. This one covers Chapter 8 (Mass Transit) of Giuliano & Hanson’s The Geography of Urban Transportation.
  • Memo: Regional Transport 2
    Part of a series of “reading memos” that offer a brief summary of interesting academic content along with my personal reflections. This one covers Chapter 5 of Giuliano & Hanson’s The Geography of Urban Transportation.