Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Jeff Palmer RPP, MCIP

Jeff Palmer RPP, MCIP




What are your hopes for the future of the planning profession?
I was inspired by the most recent CIP conference in Winnipeg. Although much of our day to day work is rewarding, every job can be a grind. I am happy to write that every CIP conference I have attended restores my passion for planning. Planners are found in the most interesting places working to influence positive change. It is natural for planners to specialize and develop expertise in certain areas, but as a profession our diversity of talent and appreciation for the knowledge of others makes us strong.
What are a few of your favourite places?
Some of my favourite places are those that have reinvented themselves after their original use is no longer viable. These are often industrial areas, typically along waterfronts. I was inspired by my first visit to Granville Island in the early 1980s. The industrial character of the site added an extra level of complexity and authenticity that you won’t find anywhere else, and I was pleased to see how the place was transforemd while being able to convey references to it original grit and charm. I love Winnipeg’s Exchange District (Old Market Square in particular) and The Forks for much the same reason. That is why I have built and rebuilt them in Lego many times since childhood!
Which person has most inspired your work in planning?
I’m sure many of us will reflect on our university years and the positive influence of so many of our educators. I’m going to cheat and list two. Dr. Jill Grant, then at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, was able to teach planning theory in a way that made me think with optimism about the future of our communities and our profession. Dr. Ian Wight, at the University of Manitoba, had us think about how to pursue ourprofession while making a difference in our communities. I try to apply the things I learned in their classrooms to my work every day.
Anything else we should know about you?
I often exceed my allotted word count.