Peter Smith began his career with the City of Calgary in 1956, which led to membership in CIP (then the Town Planning Institute of Canada) three years later. That same year, he took up a faculty position with the recently formed Department of Geography at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. Over this period, he taught a variety of courses in planning and related fields, and supervised more than forty doctoral and masters’ students in their thesis research. Many of these students, undergraduate as well as graduate, went on to successful planning careers in their own right. Several have held office in CIP and its affiliates, some current fellows among them.
As a planning scholar and practitioner, Peter Smith has well over a hundred publications to his name, including books and research monographs, refereed articles, book chapters, conference papers and technical reports. Much of this work falls under the rubric of planning history, and he served for ten years on the board of the International Planning History Society. He was also active, at different times, in such national and provincial organizations as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Association of Geographers, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the Canada Land Inventory, the Alberta Environment Conservation Authority, the Alberta Environmental Research Trust, and the Alberta Land Use Forum. For CIP, he served on occasion as a student advisor and examiner, and an appraiser of university programs; sat on a committee to review Alberta’s planning legislation; and was a member of the organizing committee for Habitat 94, a joint congress of CIP and the International Federation of Housing and Planning which was held in Edmonton.