Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Pamela Shaw PhD, MCIP, RPP, FRCGS

Pamela Shaw PhD, MCIP, RPP, FRCGS




What are your hopes for the future of the planning profession?
I am excited to see all of the innovative and exciting work being done by planners all across Canada (see the recent CIP Awards for some examples) and in particular by our young planners. I feel planners are moving toward a new, more proactive approach to the profession in part informed by information and connections. I feel hopeful when I connect with planners who are more concerned with the public good than job protection. And finally, I am confident in the “bright-eyed, bushy-tailed” energy of planning students to bring about positive change.
What are a few of your favourite places?
Too many to list – Commercial Street in Nanaimo, the observation deck in the Burj Khalifa, New Orleans early in the morning, the river valley in Medicine Hat, the view from a kayak, places without cell reception. Saint Christobal Island, K’omoks Estuary, Pacific Rim National Park, and the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region.
Which person has most inspired your work in planning?
Many decades ago, this undergraduate student took a Geography course at the University of Alberta, taught by Dr. Peter Smith. In the first class, Dr. Smith gave an overview of planning as a profession and calling, and , and I was captured by the magic of his words. More than 30 years later, I still feel lucky to have found this path.
Anything else we should know about you?
I am to have found a career that matters: as planners, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to shape places, experiences, and perceptions. I am delighted to have the opportunity to teach, see students succeed, and volunteer for the profession. And I am happy to report that being Treasurer for CIP is a lot more fun than you might think it would be!