I was raised in West-Java, Indonesia. Coming from an agrarian nation, I witnessed the rapid urbanization that transformed fields of green rice paddies and productive farms into a landscape of skyscrapers, malls, and expansive highways. I viewed this as the perfect illustration of how the quest for modernization often fails to take the food system into consideration. This experience has provided the basis for my Doctoral studies in urban planning and environmental studies.


I earned a Doctoral in Planning from the University of Toronto in 2018 and was awarded with the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship. My research also won the Social Sciences and Humanities Reseach Council (SSHRC) Joseph Armand Bombardier Scholarship, a SSHRC Storytellers Top 5 Award, the International Development Research Centre Award and the Dr. David Chu Asia Pacific Studies Award. I hold a bachelor of environmental studies (honours B.E.S) with a minor in international development studies from York University and a Master of Science in Planning (MSc.Pl) from the University of Toronto. The Ontario Professional Planners Institute awarded my research with a Dr. Wayne Caldwell scholarship for my contribution to food system planning and my paper was awarded best paper in 2016 by the Canadian Association of Food Studies.


My dissertation at the University of Toronto focuses on the intersection between urban planning policies, household food consumption, and food-wasting practices in urban Indonesia.

Tammara Soa

Photo by Dominic Ali



Food System Planning

Investigating the impact of planning decisions on urban/rural food system, and measuring the resulting health, environmental and social outcomes.

Ph.D. (Planning) 2018

University of Toronto, Department of Geography and Planning

Social Justice and Equity in the City 

Who has the right to the city? Who has access to food provisioning and waste infrastructures? Most importantly, who bears the burden of risks?

Pedagogy and Experiential Learning 

Exploring the role of innovative methodology and pedagogy in improving student learning (for example: social innovation; storytelling)

Waste (Indonesia and Canada)

I am interested in the role of packaging waste, and the environmental racism/classism that often puts the risks associated with waste on communities of colour or low-income communities.

MSc.Pl (Master of Science in Planning) 2010

University of Toronto, Department of Geography and Planning

Honours Bachelors in Environmental Studies with a minor in International Development (B.E.S) 2007

York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies

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