CIP - Planning Together: World Town Planning Day Student Symposium

November 08, 2022


11:30 AM (EST)

Planning Together english logo

Since 2018, students and professionals across Canada have come together to present and discuss cutting-edge and emerging research topics in geography and planning. On the occasion of World Town Planning Day (November 8, 2022), the Canadian Institute of Planners will host an online planning student research symposium to gather, share, and learn from one another.


Keynote Speakers:

4:00 PM- 5:00 PM EST
In this session, Natalie and Kristy will discuss finding your purpose and ideal position in the planning field. They will identify how to chart a path toward your first professional planning role, and what to do as a student or early professional  to set yourself up for success. The session will end with an open Q&A where the speakers will respond to any questions you might have.

Kristy Kilbourne RPP, MCIP

Kristy Kilbourne- Headshot

Kristy Kilbourne, MCIP, RPP, is a Registered Professional Planner with diverse planning experience in the municipal and non-profit sectors. In addition to her work as an independent planning consultant, she is also an instructor and Program Coordinator for Seneca College’s Sustainable Planning and Development Program; a Ph.D student in the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning; and the founder of Your Planning Career, an organization that supports career development for planners. Kristy lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and 3 sons.

Natalie Persaud RPP, MCIP

Natalie Persaud- smaller file

Natalie Persaud MCIP, RPP is a Planner II for the City of Ottawa. Natalie has 12+ years of professional practice with diverse experience in development review, planning policy, and project management. She recently supported the City of Ottawa in development of its new Official Plan and is currently working on its implementation through the creation of the city’s new Zoning By-law. Natalie is a strong proponent of mentorship and leadership development, and recently contributed to the creation and successful delivery of CIP's first Emerging Leaders Program. Outside of professional planning, Natalie can be found in the gym teaching yoga and fitness or playing with her goldendoodle Punk.


Session 1:  Planning & Food Systems

11:30 AM - 12:10 PM EST

Perceived Municipal Goals and Objectives Towards Increasing Food Distribution and Access >> Municipal Food Systems: Calgary Case Study

As an important element of healthy communities, improving and maintaining access to food systems is increasingly becoming a responsibility of planners and municipal staff. This presentation addresses municipal involvement in food systems planning, with a focus on distribution and access rather than cultivation and production (which is often explored in urban agriculture research). This presentation will describe results from a thematic analysis conducted with municipal planning documents, in order to identify and connect themes with respect to a municipality’s capability and implementation strategies and tools to achieve its goals and objectives towards increasing food distribution and access. This presentation will explore one method of the case study research, and is part of a larger master’s report currently in progress entitled “Fresh Ideas: Pop-ups & Planning for Calgary’s Farm Stands”. The purpose of the report is to identify the challenges and successes of implementing a municipal food systems initiative with a focus on equity, health, and sustainability considerations.

SPEAKER: Stephanie Cantlay, Queen's University

Planning and Agri-Food Systems: Evaluating the Capacity of Ontario Municipalities

Ontario’s agri-food sector plays an important role in Canadian agriculture, and its continued growth and success depends on support and initiatives at multiple levels of government. While provincial priorities may guide expectations, many programs and policies are enacted by municipalities, which must balance local needs with economically sound and environmentally sustainable progress, and which have varying degrees of desire and capacity to support local agriculture and agri-food systems. Understanding how the varying capacities of Ontario planning departments impact the effectiveness with which municipalities can respond to and support the agri-food sector is important to facilitating knowledge sharing and enabling more targeted support.

This project builds on research conducted in 2020-2021, that assessed the capacity of municipalities in the Greenbelt region of Ontario to support and respond to agri-food systems, and identified differences in budget, human resources, knowledge of agriculture, and other factors, which impact the ability of municipalities to support local agri-systems. This presentation will provide an overview of the project and initial findings, based on the results of two online surveys sent to planners and elected officials from municipalities in Ontario, as well as semi-structured interviews with planners.

SPEAKERS: Regan Zink, University of Guelph; Shanley Weston, University of Guelph; Natasha Gaudio Harrison, University of Guelph


Session 2: Planning Education:  Reconciliation & Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

12:30 PM - 1:10 PM EST

Gender, Planning, and the City: A Modern Call to Action for the Field of Planning

Planning academia is an expansive field, often looking to make developments with the public interest in mind and contribute to professional practice. The investigation and connection between planning research and gender has been a consistent topic within academia for multiple decades. This paper explores the progression of the relationship between gender, planning, and cities within academic research since 1990 through the lens of a scoping review. By assessing the multitude of socially subordinated groups considered, the progression and/or change in the literature over time, and the language and theories utilized in planning research, the authors were able to assess to the size and scope of the literature on gender and urban planning. The authors found there is limited academic literature on the relationship between gender and urban planning, as well as as little engagement with diverse understandings of gender. Conversely, both society and the professional field of planning have progressed since 1990, where as the development of this academic topic does not reflect the same progression. This article is a call to the field of planning to consider the relationship between gender and urban planning, as well, to integrate and prioritize a gendered lens in planning academia and professional practice.
The Land We Walk On: Reconciliation and Decolonizing Planning in Education

The Indigenous peoples of Canada have an enduring history and strong relationship with the land which Canadians call home. Prior to colonial planning, Indigenous peoples have provided stewardship for this land for generations. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has helped to shed light on the brutal truth of Canadian history regarding its treatment of Indigenous peoples, often argued based on and implemented by planning decisions. Therefore, it is crucial to expand our understanding of the impact of colonialization on the land and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. How do we reflect on the relationships between land, law, and people and discuss what 'decolonization' could mean?

Our research aims to explore what the planning profession has to do to acknowledge the needs and rights of Indigenous people and revolutionize planning approaches and our discipline - developing a new and more inclusive vision for collaborative land stewardship. As Graduate Assistant Researchers with Indigenous backgrounds, we will develop resources and educational materials to share with professionals and students and share our reflections from this work. We hope that the active engagement with colonial history and Indigenous culture might transform the conversation to start walking a parallel path forward in planning and design.

Session 3: Healthy Communities for All

2:00 PM - 2:40 PM EST

Playing & Place: Older Adult Perceptions of Playful Environments in Victoria, B.C.

Cities around the world are experiencing a large demographic shift as significant portions of their population age into older adulthood. As people age, their physical and cognitive worlds can shrink as they are increasingly likely to experience impairment or reduced mobility, leaving older adults vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness. Consequently, age-friendly planning has emerged as a critical discourse for interventions to develop enabling environments that can minimize the risks associated with aging.

While preventative measures are important, there is more to inclusive design than caution and access. Built and social environments can instead be designed to actively promote older adult wellbeing—not just minimize risk. Looking at Victoria, BC, Canada's oldest demographic city as a case study, my research involved conducting a participatory photovoice exercise with older adults to look understand (1) what environments limited their ability to play; and (2) what environments enabled them to play. In this presentation, we will look at some examples of features found in both limiting and enabling built environments to understand how playful spaces can reduce older adult isolation in cities.

SPEAKER: Ellory Vincent, Queen's University

Policy Proposals for Ageing in Place: Interventions for Successful Ageing in Place in Windsor, Canada & Brescia, Italy

The global demographic trend of population ageing presents a challenge for government institutions, urban planners, policy makers and community organizations. Concurrently, ageing in place has emerged in planning discourse, with the potential to support cities in becoming age-friendly environments. This thesis poses the research question: to what extent and how can cities experiencing population ageing use ageing in place as a conceptual planning and policy tool to create the conditions for older adults to age in place successfully? The literature review finds five dichotomies, offering analytical frameworks for the case studies of Windsor, Canada and Brescia, Italy. The case studies describe the existing conditions for ageing in place at three spatial scales: the internal and external characteristics of the home, and the neighbourhood, considering both private owned homes and social housing. The research question is answered in a six-part proposal for ageing in place programs in care, the home and ICT: the Continuum of Care, Neighbourhoods of Care, Green Retrofitting, Adaptable Homes Modifications, Alternative Housing Typologies, and Telemedicine and Social Calls. These proposals offer a framework for cities to implement ageing in place policies according to their unique contexts, and highlight the role of older residents as important community resources.

Session 4: Climate Resilience

3:00 PM - 3:40 PM EST

Bringing the Forest Back to the Forest City:  A Redesign of Reg Cooper Square

This presentation explores the redesign of a underutilized public square located in Downtown London. The project looks at the analysis, ideation, and visualization of the site and proposed changes for an updated design. With an emphasis on greening the city, I created a design which encompasses the identity of London as the Forest City. I chose to incorporate passive and active public spaces mixed with Carolinian Ecozone species, with each of the three major Carolinian ecosystem types (wetlands, prairies, and forests) having a distinct role in the design. To me, it is so important to plan and create spaces which allow urban residents to experience the natural world and I truly believe my proposed changes for Reg Cooper Square allow that to happen. I hope you enjoy!

SPEAKER: Connor Turnecliff, Fanshawe College

Planning for Longstanding Sustainability:  Addressing the Downfalls of Green Infrastructure Planning

One of the significant opportunities for cities across Canada lies in incorporating and protecting nature to strengthen community's resilience. Green infrastructure and natural assets can be an extremely cost-effective and efficient substitute or addition to traditional infrastructure practices and provide a wide variety of co-benefits. This presentation focuses on several benefits of green infrastructures, such as flood protection, air quality, biodiversity, and cooling. Through completing a case study analysis and semi-structured interviews with professionals across Canada, this presentation highlights the critical downfalls of green infrastructure implementation and poses potential solutions. This presentation will explore the importance of green infrastructure, key barriers, and nature-based solutions to the many challenges facing cities across the country.