Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Plan Canada - Winter 2021


State of the Profession (Winter 2021)

Having celebrated its centenary in 2019, planning is still a relatively new profession in Canada. Over the years, the work of the professional planner has evolved, broadening from a heavy spatial focus to include more of a social lens. Today, there are over 7,500 planners in Canada working across a variety of sectors in fields such as land use planning, environmental resource management, land development, heritage conservation, social planning, transportation planning, and economic development.
The ever-changing world continues to present new challenges for the profession. The recent global pandemic is a clear example of how the path being taken can be unexpected. As we emerge, planners will once again be called upon to help chart the path forward. Now is a pivotal time to better understand the challenges and opportunities, what brings us together, our successes and accomplishments, and where we can continue to improve and grow as a profession. It may also be an opportune time to review the theoretical foundations of the profession to determine if the theories and paradigms that guide the planners’ work need to shift as the Canadian planning profession advances into its second century.
To capture the state of the profession at this watershed moment, submissions from all sectors of the Canadian planning profession are invited. Share your perspective on the past, present, and future of the planners’ work on subjects that may include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • What unique challenges and opportunities does the profession currently face?
  • What does the profession look like today, how has that changed, and how is the face of the profession evolving?
  • As we focus on equitable, diverse, and inclusive outcomes in the communities we serve, how can the same be achieved across the profession?
  • Perspectives on professional accreditation, codes of practice, core competences, and the specialized skillsets of the professional planner in Canada.
  • How does planning education need to change to meet the needs of the profession now and into the future?
  • What ethical challenges are faced by today’s planners and how can they be handled? (examples are encouraged so others can learn!)
  • How might the profession continue to gain greater profile, recognition, and status with the public?

Deadline for submission is September 22.

Submit your Article


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.