Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.



In a region which has seen exponential change in housing prices, home ownership is increasingly out of reach in most of British Columbia’s urban centres. Strong growth pressures, historically low vacancies, and rent increases stressed tenants. In a fun, interactive session with fast-paced presentations, four BC municipalities—Burnaby, New Westminster, City of North Vancouver and Victoria—will compare and contrast their different approaches to addressing this “wicked” problem. While enabled under singular provincial legislation, the four cities have walked different paths. From supply-based approaches to incentives, zoning, regulatory restrictions, and everything in between, each municipality will share their respective creative approaches to rental policies, affordability, getting rental on the ground, and taking care of tenants.
From rejection of urban freeways and promotion of transit-oriented polycentric town centres to early adoption of driverless SkyTrain technology, Metro Vancouver has a strong history of transformative transportation planning. Now, the region is at a pivotal moment, facing growing inequality and affordability crises, worsening congestion, and a global climate emergency. TransLink took a collaborative and outcomes-based approach to developing the new long-range Regional Transportation Strategy: Transport 2050. Its development included TransLink’s largest-ever engagement program, a cross-jurisdictional team including the province, Metro Vancouver Regional District, transportation and planning staff from the 22 municipalities, and treaty First Nations of the Metro Vancouver region. It engaged with Indigenous Nations, Indigenous groups, social equity groups, and goods movement sector stakeholders. This session will outline how the process informed the outcome, underscoring the need for transformational change. Highlights include the use of multiple strategic lenses, the “Access for Everyone” theme, coordination of land use and transportation strategies, and demand management.
Recent social movements have brought diversity and inclusion to the forefront of our thoughts. Planners are learning and adapting practices to meet the needs of excluded and under-represented groups. In this session, we will explore one aspect of inclusion: 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion. This is an introductory session that will highlight how planners can alter their day-to-day tasks in simple, cost-effective, easily implementable ways to take steps towards fostering 2SLGBTQ+ inclusivity. It will cover pronoun use, considerations for public engagement events, writing policy and communications, and will also share examples of projects and tools already in place. As planning evolves, planners must reduce barriers and provide equal access and opportunity for 2SLGBTQ+ people in planning.
This session will focus on the development and financing of the Region of Peel's Housing Master Plan which, when fully funded and implemented, could result in the development of more than 5,650 new affordable rental units, including 226 supportive and 60 emergency shelter beds. The plan maximizes the housing potential of 31 sites in the Region of Peel land and Peel Housing Corporation property portfolio. Recently, Peel reached an agreement with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for up to $276.4 million in federal funds to develop 2,240 of these units and beds by 2028.
Applying a Climate Lens to Ottawa's Official Plan
We are at a critical moment when global commitments, national policies, and local planning must work together to combat climate change and its impacts. Ottawa has seen increases in temperature, precipitation, heatwaves, flooding and tornadoes. Applying a climate lens in developing Ottawa’s new Official Plan was, therefore, a priority action approved by City Council in 2020, along with setting aggressive new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050. This presentation will explain how Ottawa incorporated climate change considerations into its land use and growth management policies. Strategic goals were applied to multiple sections of the Plan using two distinct pathways: a mitigation pathway to reduce emissions, and an adaptation pathway to address the impacts of climate change.

Canada’s First Transect Official Plan
Ottawa’s new Official Plan is Canada’s first big-city plan to eschew the mid-20th Century land-use-based planning policy framework in favour of a Transect-based framework focused on form and function. The new Plan represents a milestone for the city as it surpasses the one million population mark and opens the O-Train system as the backbone of its transit network. The Transect-based plan aims to establish policy goals, objectives and approaches that are sensitive to context, capturing the range of environments for which the municipality plans (Downtown, Inner Urban, Outer Urban, Greenbelt, Suburban and Rural). It also sets the stage for evolution from suburban to urban, following the concentric rings that radiate from the downtown out.
Have you ever felt that many exchanges (public hearings come to mind) are at best an abuse of reason and rationality? Do you know the difference between a slippery slope argument and an ad hominem attack? How about between guilt by association and hasty generalizations? Join in on a fast-paced, interactive, deep dive into the fundamentals of logic and failed reasoning. Participants will learn tricks and shortcuts to clarify their thinking, build rational arguments, and gain confidence in countering fuzzy logic with precision and rigour.
The City of Laval is the second-largest city in the Greater Montreal area, the third largest in Quebec and an archetypical suburb. The land use bylaw in application since 1970 had never been fully revised and multiple amendments have changed it to Kafkaesque proportions. In 2021, the city adopted the draft of the Code de l’urbanisme (CDU), a new form-based code, which had never been done at this scale so far in Canada. A rigorous process was put in place to prepare this serious change and to allow innovation. Preliminary studies were done for months early in the project. In 2019, the city launched a comprehensive communication and consultation. Over three years, several tools were developed in that respect, such as a virtual open house as well as virtual public hearings. A continuous attention was also given to the transition within the city departments to make sure people were both made aware of what was coming and guided during the process. Recognizing the opportunity, the city wanted to distance itself from Euclidian zoning by regulating the urban development with a form-based code. The CDU represents a major shift in the way the city views and regulates its territory. Inspired by some of the best North American examples, the CDU is based on a transect. It thus applies this ecological concept of a spectrum of natural environments and their symbiotic elements to human habitats.
Urban planning has evolved as a settler-colonial project and tool of White supremacy that has resulted in the systemic marginalization and exclusion of Black Indigenous and People of Colour communities. From the planning classroom to planning practice, it has become imperative for practitioners, future planners, and scholars to adopt anti-racist agendas and rethink how to facilitate system-wide transformation for Canadian cities. We will discuss our academic research, teaching, and professional practices associated with diversity and cities to interrogate how to bring planning forward and create inclusive and equitable cities. Topics including but not limited to public space, urban health, environmental justice, immigrant settlement and integration, and community engagement will be addressed. We call for a system-wide transformation taking a multi-scalar approach, critically reflecting on components of change at the personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels. A national-level task force for strategic collaboration and a coordinated shift toward the profession’s anti-racist future is recommended.
What has a student from Ontario experienced over a semester in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut? Looking at a remote community situated above the Arctic Circle, the presentation will review Cambridge Bay’s amenities, population statistics, and the progress of their Smart Homes Small Homes Subdivision Project. We will note southern biases, briefly review the planning process from the Government of Nunavut through to the local housing corporation, and consider the environmental and housing crisis that Cambridge Bay – and Nunavut in the broader picture – are experiencing. To build understanding of community needs and offer insight into the experience of growing up and living in a remote Arctic community, we will also look at Inuit Traditional Knowledge (ITK), Inuit Ecological Knowledge (IEK), and a series of interviews. We will assess strengths and weaknesses through the lens of creating sustainable community design while noting biases and limitations. The session will conclude by examining findings, assessing passive design and modular housing impacts on quality of life and climate change mitigation, and recommend further opportunities to research sustainability in northern communities.
This panel presentation will share the experience of developing the first multi-jurisdictional sea level rise strategy in Metro Vancouver and possibly in BC. Located on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish First Nations, the North Shore region of Metro Vancouver extends over 65 km of Salish Sea shoreline. Sea level rise is a significant concern, as coastal land uses include port, industrial and commercial, critical transportation and power infrastructure, high-density mixed-use and single-family residential, park, and sensitive ecosystems. The session will explain how the District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of West Vancouver, North Shore Emergency Management, Port of Vancouver, and Squamish Nation collaborated to develop the award-winning North Shore Sea Level Rise Risk Assessment and Adaptive Management Strategy (2021). Panellists will review the project’s process, explain how partners worked across jurisdictions, what the technical analysis revealed, the communications and engagement tactics used, and lessons learned. Attendees will learn how the strategy is being implemented with a new Coastal Development Permit Area in West Vancouver.
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