Politics and Planning: Vancouver’s Next Planning Director

The Commission partnered with SFU City Conversations to co-host a public discussion on October 15, 2015.  The event looked at the relationship between the practice of planning within the City’s administration and decision-making by Council, elected to govern on behalf of the community.

City Conversations | Politics and Planning: Vancouver’s next planning director

This event explored the relationship and inevitable tension between elected officials and staff leaders who, for the past 40 years, have shaped Vancouver to what it is:

  • Who decides what?
  • How do you get continuity when projects are proposed individually?
  • Where does (and should) the planning director sit within the citystaff hierarchy?
  • Where does the public fit in?
  • How do we deal with neighbourhoods that do not want to take their share of new development?
  • Elected officials hear from those who are already here, but who represents those who want to be here?

The lunchtime discussion followed presentations by three panellists:

  • Marguerite Ford, former Vancouver City Councillor (1976-1986)
  • Peter Ladner, former Vancouver City Councillor (2002-2008)
  • Frances Bula, urban affairs journalist




This event was part of a special trio of events focused on choosing the next planning director.

  • On October 13, 2015, UBC/SCARP and the Vancouver City Planning Commission hosted a facilitated discussion of planning principles and how they might inform a more positive planning environment.
  • On October 29, the SFU City Program will be hosting former Vancouver Directors of Planning.