OTTAWA April 6, 2023 – Building healthy and sustainable communities requires a number of policies and directions that challenge and change the status quo. Planners are at the very heart of these initiatives to help develop and safeguard the future of our cities, regions, and country–making our communities better places to live, work, and play.
In recent months, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) has seen an increase in public awareness and interest in planning. It is encouraging that citizens are becoming more engaged in these processes, attending public consultations, and participating in online discussions. However, there is a growing concern across the country regarding the treatment of planners in these settings, as well as with the dissemination of misinformation related to planning principles and policies.
One such example is the planning concept of the 15-Minute City, also known as “Complete Communities”, which has been subject to particular scrutiny and misunderstanding of its objectives. This has resulted in alarming instances of hostile behaviour and threats towards planners and public servants, disruptive conduct in consultation meetings, and the need for law enforcement interventions.
CIP strongly encourages the public to learn more about the planning profession and planning concepts from reliable, fact-based sources, and to maintain a respectful dialogue with planners, as well as with elected officials and other members of the community. Registered Professional Planners (RPPs), Licensed Professional Planners (LPPs), and equivalent fully certified members also adhere to Codes of Professional Conduct and Statements of Values and are strong proponents of public engagement and consultation.
Public safety and democratic engagement are fundamental to the well-being of all citizens and the future of our communities.
Learn more about the planning profession in Canada here:
- Planning Basics (video)
- Planners in Public Spaces (resource)
- City of Ottawa Planning Primer (free course)
About the 15-Minute City:
The “15-minute city” may be defined as an ideal geography where most human needs and many desires are located within a travel distance of 15 minutes. While automobiles may be accommodated in the 15-minute city, they cannot determine its scale or urban form. Instead, the 15-minute city is defined by its ability to provide access to all human needs by walking or bicycling for a quarter hour or less. Transit should be provided within the 15-minute city, but cannot accurately define its scale. Most urban areas built prior to the overwhelming proliferation of cars have the structure of a 15-minute city.1
What the 15-Minute City concept is:
- A policy and land use framework
- A plan to make neighbourhoods more walkable, inclusive, and socially, financially, and economically resilient
- An urban strategy to provide convenient access to services and amenities
- A concept already implemented in cities and suburbs across the country
What the 15-Minutes City concept is not:
- A lockdown measure
- A surveillance strategy
- A tool to enforce restrictive measures or boundaries
This statement is supported by the following provincial and territorial planning associations:
Lauren Murray (she/her)
613.237.7526 x 207 │ 800.207.2138 x 207
The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) works on behalf of over 8,000 diverse planning professionals and has served as the voice of Canada’s planning community since 1919. Planners safeguard the health and well-being of urban and rural communities by addressing the use of land, resources, facilities, and services with consideration to physical, economic, and social efficiency.