Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

International Outreach


Over the past three decades, CIP has engaged in a variety of international activities aimed at three major goals:

  1. Education and awareness-building: influencing policy related to international urban affairs, export development and international urban cooperation;
  2. Employment and business development: generating employment and business opportunities for CIP members; and
  3. International cooperation and development assistance: contributing to Canadian awareness of the state of planning abroad and participating in projects that advance the profession at home and abroad.


Commonwealth Association of Planners | Global Planners Network | UN Habitat

International Capacity BuildingInternational Planner Exchange Program

Our Partners

CAP-50-1.pngCommonwealth Association of Planners

The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) seeks to develop the skills of urban and regional planners across the Commonwealth in order to meet the challenges of urbanization and the sustainable development of human settlements.

As a founding member of the CAP, CIP contributes to the development of position papers and representations at major events (e.g. Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings). CIP has representation on the CAP Board of Directors.

In July 2020 CAP released the Commonwealth Women in Planning Manifesto, which was created with the objective of developing an international call to action for advancing the role of women in the planning profession and highlighting the impact of planning and design on women’s safety, prosperity, and empowerment. This Action Plan is intended to provide a strategic course of action through which the Commonwealth Women in Planning Network and its members can realize the goals and objectives that have been collectively identified in the Manifesto, for the benefit of everyone, everywhere. 

Download the Manifesto here.



Global Planners Network

In 2006, CIP's collaboration with other international planning organizations led to the launch of the Global Planners Network, a forum for sharing best planning practices, strengthening personal and institutional networks, and finding ways to bring planners together.

Its goals are:

  • to develop and share a global planning knowledge base;

  • to further develop the world's capacity for and understanding of planning;

  • to define the concepts of sustainability and sustainable human settlements;

  • to promote human equity and empowerment in planning; and

  • to engage new partners committed to the values of the Vancouver Declaration and the work of the Network.

The Vancouver Declaration, which developed out of the 2006 World Urban Forum, recognizes the switch from a rural to an urban majority in global populati

on, and highlights the rapid increase in urbanization, slum development and urban poverty. It asserts that sustainable development requires sustainable urbanization, which in turn depends on effective planning. It also affirms that political will and targeted investment are needed for effective planning, and that both urban and rural development must be more sustainable in order to realise the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The 2012 Sixth World Urban Forum in Naples, Italy gave rise to the Network's Naples Declaration, which affirms the role of planning in responding to increasing global urbanization and in promoting social and economic growth. It also calls for taking more integrated planning approaches across rural and urban areas, protecting ecosystems and combating the effects of climate change.

In 2020, The Global Planners Network (GPN) hosted a session highlighting what planners are doing to tackle climate change and issued the Abu Dhabi Declaration, outlining the values and role of planners in regional and urban development. The declaration will help guide discussions with stakeholders and the general public to elevate understanding of planning and its key role in all communities.

Download the Abu Dhabi Declaration here.



un-habitat_logo_high_resolution.pngUN Habitat

In 1976, Canada hosted the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT I) in Vancouver. Participants signed the Vancouver Charter, a global manifesto for national and international action on matters of global urbanization.

That conference led to the formation of the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT), which launched the first World Urban Forum in 2002 in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 2003, CIP was invited to assist Canada’s federal government in preparations for the 2006 World Urban Forum in Vancouver. Immediately prior to that event, the 2006 World Planners Congress (also held in Vancouver) was attended by nearly 1,200 delegates from around the world, and saw 15 countries sign the Vancouver Declaration on urbanization, development and planning. That document laid the foundation for the Global Planners Network.


The seventh World Urban Forum, held in 2014 in Medellin, Colombia, focussed on the theme Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life. Sessions explored how the design, governance, and infrastructure of cities have direct impact on the lives and opportunities of their inhabitants, and are related to forms of social, cultural and economic exclusion.

In 2018 CIP President, Eleanor Mohammed RPP, MCIP, attended the World Urban Forum 9 in Kampala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 7-13. During WUF9, CIP continued to build on old relationships, form new ones, and provide planning expertise by participating in sessions and panels, adding positively to CIP’s reputation as the voice of Canadian planning.

Read the report here.




To access these and other international documents, visit our International Resources Library page.

International Capacity Building

WorldLink Program*

Since 1998, CIP's WorldLink International Internship Program has placed more than 100 young urban planning professionals with host organizations in some 30 countries. Consistent with the geographic focus of CIP's other international work, nearly half have been placed in the Americas, including with municipal and national government agencies in Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. The program has helped CIP build partnerships and networks in the region, provides excellent international work experience for young practitioners, and makes Canadian planning expertise available to developing and third world countries.  *The WorldLink Program is not currently operating.

Canada-Guyana Partnership

The Canada-Guyana Partnership for Community Planning (C-GPCP) was a CIDA-funded partnership between the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and the Government of Guyana's Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA) carried out between April 2009 and March 2012. The Project's purpose was to increase transparency and accountability in public sector decision-making related to investment in social and physical infrastructure. By enabling the CH&PA with the capacity to deliver and implement community development plans, the project aimed to promote greater transparency and accountability and civil society participation in decision-making related to community-level investment in social and physical infrastructure.

Visit the Canada-Guyana Partnership for Community Planning Project 2009-2012 site for more information.




International Planner Exchange Program

CIP has partnered with the American Planning Association’s International Division on the International Planner Exchange (IPE) program.

The two-week exchange sees participating planners hosting each other in their homes and workplaces. The goal is to expose planners to international planning work by providing a direct, one-on-one experience between planners in Canada and the US.

The goal of the International Planner Exchange Program is to provide a channel to allow professional U.S. and overseas planners to obtain an understanding and experience of planning practice in each other's countries.

This program requires the participants to host planners from other countries, thereby keeping costs affordable while at the same time providing a greater immersion with the host planners. At this time, the program is taking applications for exchanges between the U.S. planners and planners from the UK and Canada. The program is supported by the International Division in partnerships with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP-ICU).

To learn more or apply, click here.



Our International Outreach PartnersNos partenaires en International Outreach
Global Planners NetworkCommonwealth Association of PlannersUN HABITAT