Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
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.



Plan Canada is read by 90% of Canadian registered planners, through its distribution to over 7,500 planners, students, industry stakeholders, and municipal and federal government officials. Click here to download the Plan Canada media kit.


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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:


Few land use categories have undergone as much disruptive change in recent decades as ‘retail.’ Land use and market trends suggest retail will continue to evolve rapidly in the years ahead.
Where once a definition of retail may have assumed the existence of a ‘physical store as a place to facilitate the sale of goods and services to customers’, current retail options now encompass not only bricks and mortar stores but online stores, mobile stores, and every possible combination in-between.
What does this mean for planning policies designed to provide for the needs and well-being of communities in the context of market forces that may have different priorities for consumers? The introduction of big-box stores and large-scale retail centres was historically disruptive to planning policies protecting traditional regional, community, and neighbourhood retail nodes and corridors. Many retail strips and shopping centres currently in states of decline are being redeveloped for housing and other uses. How can planning policies, regulations, and the way they are implemented keep up with the pace of change?
Issues relating to and influencing retail land uses will remain a constant for planners and decision-makers regardless of the size or location of a community. Examples of which include:

  • The desire to protect the assets of healthy downtowns;
  • The cultural and economic impact of specialty and ethnic retail stores in communities;
  • Serving the practical needs of suburban retail clusters in ways that reduce the need to access facilities by car;
  • The impact of retail delivery services in congested cities and communities;
  • Withstanding pressure from retail investors that threaten to overwhelm existing retail areas;
  • Localized small urban and rural retail development or decline and influence on communities.

The Winter issue of Plan Canada is seeking articles that explore these and other issues, including but not limited to:

  • What is the impact of redevelopment, adaptive reuse, or gentrification of abandoned or declining physical retail spaces, and how does it influence affordability and local communities?
  • What are the impacts of an increase in preference for online over physical retail services? How does this impact land use planning within our communities?
  • What tools are available to help planners track retail consumer data and prepare economic forecasts to better inform plans and decision-makers?
  • How are planners engaging in and supporting reconciliation in consideration of retail land uses? (i.e. Urban Reserves and Treaty Land Entitlement, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, No. 92,)
  • What does the future hold for Canada’s ‘main streets’ that can define both the character of places and their economic viability?
  • How do online retail distribution centres (dark stores) impact regional and local  industrial retail land use planning?
  • How are other land uses ancillary to retail changing in response to increased online retail activity?

The deadline for the Winter issue is not until mid-October but the Editorial Committee encourages you to start thinking about your submission now! The co-editors for this issue are editorial board member Robyn Rechenmacher, MCIP, RPP, and Glenn Miller, FCIP (guest editor).

Submission deadline is October 13, 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 – A vital but increasingly invisible land use 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.