It is now over 60 years since Dr. Robinson began his career as a distinguished educator of planners and a consummate scholar of planning. His passion for planning has endured through the decades, culminating recently in major contributions both internationally - especially in South-East Asia, and nationally - especially charting Canadian regional planning practice.
An American by birth but a Canadian by choice, he began his career as a planning educator in 1952 with the then fledgling School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. Ira completed this part of his career 40 years later at the University of Calgary (EVDS), as professor emeritus. He joined that program in 1974 when it too was in its formative years.
Hundreds of students - and many current Canadian planning practitioners from the UBC and EVDS programs - have received an essential part of their foundational planning education from Ira. He taught a wide range of urban and regional planning subjects, but was particularly well-regarded for his teaching on regional resource development, urban settlement system policy, and metropolitan region planning.
Ira is particularly proud to have been a founding member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia in 1958. He was also actively involved with the Alberta Professional Planners Institute in various capacities during his appointment at the University of Calgary.
Ira has been committed to publishing widely in his fields of expertise. A meticulous scholar, adhering to the highest publication standards, Ira was a notable authority on new towns/resource communities and regional planning/development in particular. He was much in demand as a conference presenter and contributor to books on these subjects, but he has also maintained his scholarly publishing commitment into his supposed 'retirement' - well-evidenced by the recent publication (co-authored with Gerald Hodge) of Planning Canadian Regions (UBC Press, 2001). This is the first book to consolidate the history, evolution and current practice of regional planning in Canada.
Over his long and productive career, Ira has consistently performed at a high level of excellence, always seeking to firmly advance the cause of planning and the capacity of planners.