Meet The Team
An experienced management professional, is CityState’s founding President. In a first career, he served Canada and the United Nations as a Military Engineer. He was awarded a Governor General’s Medal for his humanitarian work during the 1992-95 war in Sarajevo.
Gaëtan Royer served in senior positions with the cities of Surrey, Whitehorse then Port Moody, where he was CAO for 11 years. He was appointed Head of Regional Planning and Parks at Metro Vancouver in 2011.
Gaëtan has degrees in Architecture, Engineering and Urban Planning, disciplines that are complementary yet rarely found together in one person. He wrote Time For Cities, a book used by several universities. This unique combination of skills and experience makes Gaëtan creative, disciplined, analytical and in tune with best practices in urban affairs.
A passionate practitioner of public process, Gaëtan is adept at facilitating consultation with large crowds in fluent French and English. He contributed to numerous strategic plans with Commissions, non-profit Boards and Councils, helping them to successfully address thorny issues, implement complex projects and steer change under media scrutiny and in tough political environments.
As a public servant, Gaëtan acquired a reputation for being an entrepreneurial bureaucrat who got things done. Since leaving the public sector in January 2013, Gaëtan Royer has consulted in policy research, public processes and planning with Client s such as Ernst & Young, City of Moscow, Columbia Institute, BC Recreation & Parks Association, City of Burnaby, Abbotsford Hospice and private developers. Gaëtan and CityState use the latest architectural design and site planning tools.
Managing Partner, Senior Planner
Carola Thompson is an accomplished and visionary leader, serving as the Managing Partner and Senior Planner at CityState Consulting Group, a highly respected urban planning and design firm based in Port Moody. Her exceptional contributions to the field of entrepreneurship led to her being recognized as the runner-up for the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Port Moody.
With a diverse background encompassing marketing, real estate, urban planning, and development design, Carola brings a unique perspective to her role. As the head of CityState, she oversees the management of nearly one third of the current development applications in the City of Port Moody, demonstrating her exceptional expertise and leadership in the industry.
Carola's passion lies in making cities more livable and sustainable. She possesses a natural ability to find creative solutions to complex urban design problems, ensuring that communities thrive both aesthetically and functionally. Her unwavering commitment to the environment is evident in her advocacy for creating walkable and inclusive urban landscapes that prioritize sustainability and well-being.
Carola is not only a leader in her field but also a sought-after speaker. She has delivered presentations on various topics, including her new program called "Navigating the Path to Development Approvals." This program, specifically put on for ACCAPE (Association of Chinese Canadian Architects & Professional Engineers), provides valuable insights and guidance on the complex process of obtaining development approvals. Carola's presentations are known for their informative and engaging nature, inspiring professionals in the industry to navigate the intricacies of urban planning and development.
Having served as a former member of the Tri-Cities Chamber Economic Development Committee, Carola has shared her clear vision for the future of public spaces. She is dedicated to making neighborhoods more vibrant and accessible for all, fostering a sense of community and connectivity. Carola's deep roots in Port Moody's community, along with her strong family ties, further fuel her drive to create positive and lasting impacts in the city.
Carola Thompson's leadership, expertise, and unwavering commitment to creating livable and sustainable cities make her an exceptional Managing Partner at CityState Consulting Group. Her innovative approach, dedication to community well-being, and her contributions as a speaker continue to shape the urban landscape of Port Moody and inspire others in the industry.
Aidan Shirley is a dedicated partner and community planner at CityState, driven by a passion for innovative planning and a strong desire to contribute to the creation of better communities. With a deep understanding of municipal relationships, Aidan leverages his expertise in research and analysis to develop Comprehensive Site Analyses and development pro forma. Through his work, Aidan helps clients unlock the full potential of their properties and bring their visions to life.
Aidan's educational background includes a BA in Applied Geography, which provides him with a solid foundation in understanding the spatial aspects of planning and development. In addition to his role at CityState, Aidan also serves as an Associate at the Columbia Institute, a Vancouver-based public policy think tank. This affiliation allows him to stay at the forefront of emerging trends and best practices in urban planning.
Aidan's commitment to community engagement is further demonstrated by his previous involvement on the City of Vancouver's Renters Advisory Committee. This experience has given him valuable insights into the challenges and needs of diverse communities, enabling him to approach planning projects with a holistic and inclusive perspective.
With his expertise, dedication, and passion for creating vibrant and sustainable communities, Aidan Shirley is an invaluable asset to CityState and a trusted partner for clients seeking innovative and impactful planning solutions.
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