The ThinkFresh Group is a passionate team of urban planning strategists who believe in preparing cities for the future and helping design city spaces that people love being in. We are focused on the intersection of urban design and the human experience. We are passionate about cities and how humans experience them – be it shopping in a market, biking down a street, or enjoying a coffee on a patio.
Since 2012 we have consulted for public, private and non-profits clients on projects and public consultation around local economic development, micro-retail, affordable housing and transit. We help our clients facilitate engaging conversations, dream big, plan for the future and create urban human experiences that make cities more enjoyable, usable, and equitable.
Our core philosophy is dialogue, design thinking and community co-ordination. This is how we help our clients discover their best design strategy and achieve their desired outcome.
Our focus is on urbanism projects. Our specialty is in being able to see projects at both macro and micro scales. We are sensitive to local issues and also strive to understand the broader social, economic, and political context in which you are working. We have the experience to help you create the right concepts to turn your ideas into action and have a proven track record of generating real value for our clients.
The ThinkFresh Group was founded in 2012 by Urban Innovator and Strategist Howard Tam.
Our portfolio is based in Toronto, Canada. This is our home and where we live, work and play. Our vested interest is in making this city better.
Our clients and partners include a wide range of public, private, and not-for-profit organizations:
- Streetcar Developments
- BAND – Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue
- Ryerson University – Faculty of Communication & Design (FCAD)
- Regional Municipality of York
- Westbank Corp.
- Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO)
- Metrolinx – Smart Commute
- Sustainability Ontario Community Energy Co-op
- Ontario Nonprofit Network
- Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship
- Jane’s Walk
- University of Toronto – Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG)
- Centre for Social Innovation
- Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto
- Toronto Centre for Entrepreneurial Art & Design (TCEAD)
- International City Leaders (ICLs)
- Meta Strategies
- Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF)
- Housing Services Corporation
- Scadding Court Community Centre
- “ThinkFresh Group was able to very effectively take our research on live/work, synthesize it and communicate our message to a general audience. The graphical report that was produced was beautiful and allowed us to better communicate internally and across departments on the importance of raising York Region’s Live/Work ratio. We would highly recommend them for your report writing and graphical communication needs!”
– Seemal Saif, Economic Business Analyst, Planning & Economic Development,The Regional Municipality of York –
- “ThinkFresh Group speaks to the best in dynamic and inclusive facilitation. They have assisted both agency staff and clients in identifying innovative solutions for social entrepreneurship. They pushed us to think outside of our own labels and limitations. Their team has their ear to the ground, understands community needs, and is constantly informed of best practices and new ideas.”
– Maya Roy, Executive Director, Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto –
- “ONN hosts an annual conference for 500+ nonprofit leaders. Since everyone comes together only once a year, ThinkFresh Group helped realize how we could strengthen voices and connections within the venue. ThinkFresh Group led the planning of an ‘Intersection Hub’; a lounge space that encouraged delegates to continue conversations from the breakout sessions. This hub helped us realize the possibilities for engagement at our annual gathering – with a practical eye on spatial design, facilitation, and volunteer training that help make such spaces successful. We have since used the hub model twice to catalyze meaningful relationships among nonprofit thinkers, and spark dialogues that are both big-picture and rooted in real experience.”
- “ThinkFresh brought city planning, design, and community engagement expertise to the table that vaulted our community forward as we re re-envisioned new possibilities for the Kodak Lands. Howard and his team were able to create a well thought out and deeply engaging process that helped us see what was possible and gave us the tools to continue to have great conversations about the site. He was about to help us connect the dots with some really amazing world-wide case studies and a great summary report of what happened. A pleasure to work with – professional and passionate.”
– Peter Frampton, Executive Director, Learning Enrichment Foundation –
- “Howard Tam has a rare and much needed understanding of the connections between public policy, land use and community spaces.”
– Anthony Fernando, Founder of InTO Consulting –