Born in 1930 in Bermuda, Nigel Richardson studied planning at McGill University (BA, 1951; MA, 1954) and the University of Liverpool (Diploma in Civic Design, 1955).
After working as a planner in England and British Columbia (Deputy Director, Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board, 1956-63), he moved to senior posts—first with the City of Toronto and later with a major consulting firm. After directing a three-year regional planning and local government study for the Ontario Government, he was appointed Chief Planner for the Toronto Region, and subsequently, Executive Director of the Ontario Royal Commission on the Northern Environment.
Much of Nigel Richardson’s consulting practice, established in 1981, was in northern Canada as an adviser on the design and implementation of regional land use planning systems to the Governments of Canada, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut Planning Commission, other northern planning boards and commissions, and various federal departments.
Mr. Richardson carried out or played a leading role in a wide range of other assignments such as a study of the role of land use planning in relation to sustainable development in Canada; an examination of the relationship between land use planning and environmental assessment in Ontario; major contributions to the 1991 and 1996 Canadian “state of the environment” reports; a study of community partnerships in forest management; an evaluation of new residential planning concepts; a review of environmental standards in planning and other regulatory procedures in the City of Toronto; and a review of national and regional land and environmental planning and management models for Thailand.
Nigel Richardson taught in planning programs at the universities of Toronto and Manitoba, lectured in many other universities, served on several academic advisory bodies, and authored over 60 articles and papers on planning, sustainable development, and related subjects.
Nigel was also a Member of the UK Royal Town Planning Institute, Conservation Council of Ontario, Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition, Sustainable Communities Working Group of the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy, President of the Ontario Society for Environmental Management, Chair of the Central Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Institute of Planners, Member of Lambda Alpha Land Economics Society, and Editor of Plan Canada. He was on several advisory bodies on natural resource planning, nature conservation, housing, and healthy and sustainable communities, and served as a Volunteer Advisor with CESO Aboriginal Services.
He was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners in 1998.