Canadian Planners at a Crossroads

As several major Canadian cities seek to hire new chief urban planners, candidates are facing an emerging set of demographic and political challenges, while some question the role such officials should have in shaping the country's landscape.

John Lorinc and Siri Agrell look at the challenges facing candidates for high profile planning positions in major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Halifax, and Vancouver as some fear that amidst the turnover, "the position will be devalued, or submerged in bureaucracy."

The question of the role of chief urban planners is a vital one to address as Canadian cities look to improve livability and sustainability in both suburban and traditionally urban environments. According to Lorinc and Agrell the key question is whether, "fast-growing cities need – or indeed, want – visionary chief planners? Or do they actually require can-do administrators who have the contacts and political savvy to deliver change in modern metropolitan areas?"

Larry Beasley, Vancouver's former co-planning director, is optimistic that the next wave of Canadian planners will be up to the challenge: "The new generation, it's their time to take over," he said. "I think you're going to see some wonderful new initiatives across the country over the next few years."

Thanks to Brent Toderian

Full Story: Canadian cities trying to redefine what it means to be an urban planner

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00