Gerben van Straaten is an urbanist and community developer, with a background in philosophy, law and economics. He is passionate about cities and sustainability, and founded Dudoc with the aim of promoting Dutch design and innovation within Vancouver. Van Straaten is also the founder and design mind behind Walas Concepts, an urban design firm active in both Canada and the Netherlands.
Dudoc is a space that creates a platform for innovative Dutch designers and companies to share ideas with the local Vancouver community. This promotes the integration of the Dutch perspective on design, urbanism and technology into Vancouver.
An urban designer himself, van Straaten explains that cities are complex entities, made up of many different communities. An individual’s perception of their city may vary depending on their experiences, but a blend of these different perspectives and skillsets is key to understanding the different communities in a city.