Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Ren Thomas PhD, RPP, MCIP

Ren Thomas PhD, RPP, MCIP




What are your hopes for the future of the planning profession?

I'd like to see more citizen planners engaged in improving their own communities, teaching each other about what makes inclusive, welcoming spaces. I'd like to see the professions working together more to achieve shared goals- 2020 showed us how much public health professionals and planners can do to introduce better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and deliver health services. 
What are a few of your favourite places?

The Vancouver seawall, Bloor Street in Toronto, and the view of the Halifax harbour from the Dingle. Internationally, the Douro Valley in Porto and the Magere Brug in Amsterdam.
Which person has most inspired your work in planning?

Without a doubt, Penny Gurstein, my supervisor at UBC SCARP. Her steady and wise counsel has guided me for 16 years.
Anything else we should know about you?

For me planning will always be about making our communities more beautiful, inclusive, and sustainable. However we do that, with whichever partners we choose, is the right way.