Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Victoria Ascah

Victoria Ascah





Since my time abroad studying post-conflict country development in Kosovo, I have been intrigued with how cities develop and grow, and in particular how it is possible to develop after devastation. After stumbling upon a Political Geography course during my degree in Political Science at the University of Alberta, I became set on becoming a planner.
After my degree, I worked to increase my knowledge of the profession by reading as much planning related books as I could get my hands on and by working for a city councillor. This experience allowed me to understand better how planners fit into the larger municipal system.

In September of 2017, I began my Master of Planning at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During my first year of my masters, I learned what it takes to become a practicing planner. I learned how to write planning documents, use software essential to the profession, and think critically about the future of my community. I focused my research largely on active transportation, winter cities, and transportation equity. I also became deeply involved with the School of Planning by running and being elected as Vice-President External for the Graduate Planning Society. Through this position, I have sat on multiple boards and committees.  

Currently, I am working for the summer as a Planning Intern for the Municipality of East Hants. I am gaining real planning experience that I would not be able to acquire in a solely academic setting. I look forward to continuing my master’s degree in the fall. 

Expression of Interest

I am interested in being the Student Director because I fully support and want to contribute to the mission of the Canadian Institute of Planners. CIP is actively trying to advance the profile of the Canadian planning profession both on the national and international stage. By having an effective board, CIP becomes an even greater champion for the profession. My experience sitting on multiple boards and acting as a student representative equips me with the necessary skills to be a Director as well as an advocate for the planning profession. As Student Director, I could contribute to the CIP mission by providing my point of view as a student and as an aspiring planner.

I also am interested in becoming Student Director because I am passionate about both connecting students with planning professionals but also ensuring that student voices are being heard. Planning students are the future of the planning profession. To be an organization that new planners wish to be a part of, we must listen to the ideas and concerns of students. We should be actively creating new opportunities to engage students and help develop their skills as planners while also learning from them. It can be difficult as a large organization to have effective dialogue with students, and I hope that as Student Director I could help bridge the gap between the student realm and that of CIP and professional planners more broadly.