Canadian Institue Of Planners

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Sustaining Canada's Future.

Plan Canada


The Plan Canada Editorial Committee is responsible for encouraging high-quality, timely, relevant, and engaging planning-related content for Plan Canada magazine.

Read the Editorial Committee Bios.



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We invite submissions of short papers and research reviews, notes on practice, and book or film reviews. Articles submitted must be original and not published or submitted for publication in other media (including websites, electronic newsletters, or other print publications). We favour articles with a strong policy framework and context, containing clear methodologies pertaining to studies and research, and providing critical reflection or lessons for planning practice. Authors can expect a three month time frame for initial review of submitted material and will be notified if their submission is rejected, accepted as is, or accepted conditionally with revisions. All submitted articles will be returned to authors along with comments and advice regarding any revisions required to render it suitable for publication.

See the Author Guidelines for further submission information.

Submit your article here.

2023 Submission Deadlines:


Smart Growth  A review of Progress, Challenges, and its Impact Across Canada

The low-density, dispersed, and auto-oriented sprawl that dominated development after WWII has transformed Canada into a suburban nationAmongst plannersit is widely regarded that this model of growth is neither sustainable nor resilient due to the plethora of negative externalities associated with it, including the loss of important agricultural lands and ecological areas, air and water pollution, the growing infrastructure deficit, isolated and sedentary lifestyles, and downtown decline and disinvestment.
In response, smart growth, a concept first developed in the United States in the 1990s, and subsequently integrated into Canadian planning practice, championed more sustainable patterns of growth and development. Specifically, the smart growth agenda includes 10 core principles:

  • Mixed land uses
  • Take advantage of compact design
  • Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Create walkable neighbourhoods
  • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  • Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas
  • Direct development towards existing communities
  • Provide a variety of transportation choices
  • Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions

Today, smart growth remains highly influential in Canadian planning. What was once a novel departure from typical planning and development approaches is now considered to be best practice in planning. As the principles of smart growth have moved into the mainstream, critiques have emerged, especially related to the impact of smart growth strategies on gentrification and housing affordability.
The Fall 2023 edition of Plan Canada aims to explore the advancement and integration of smart growth principles in Canada. We want to hear about the success stories of smart growth as a model for growth and development, the challenges that persist with respect to implementation, how the approach has evolved over the last three decades, and other related topics that explore smart growth in the Canadian context.
The Plan Canada Editorial Committee is seeking a range of submissions that relate to the above including articles that centre on intensification, mixed-use development, new downtowns, transit- and walking-oriented development, sustainable modes of transportation, placemaking, land preservation, and sustainability (economic, environmental, social). Articles that challenge the smart growth model or suggest new directions are also welcome. 

Submission deadline is July 14, 2023

2023 Themes
Spring Housing Affordability and Choices that are Key to Quality of Life Submission deadline: December 12, 2022
Summer  Food – Where are our priorities and how do we provide? Submission deadline: March 10, 2023
Fall  Smart Growth – A review of progress, challenges and its impact across Canada. Submission deadline: July 14, 2023
Winter Retail – The rapidly changing relationship between ‘clicks’ and ‘bricks’ . Submission deadline: October 13, 2023


To provide for feedback and a sense of continuity between issues, we invite readers of the magazine to comment on Plan Canada themes, recent articles or identify topics that merit inclusion in future issues.