Robert (Bob) Caldwell pursued excellence in Municipal planning in two Canadian provinces and in six municipal jurisdictions over a career spanning more than 35 years.
Bob has always “pushed the envelope”, challenging himself and his colleges to incorporate best practices and leading edge methods in their work. This is obvious by the number of awards of excellence he and his staff at the City of Edmonton attained over his career with that city.
Bob’s experience in municipal planning started with a short employment as Assistant Clerk and Treasurer in a small Ontario town. In that position, his first, he was key in setting up a Planning Board for the area surrounding the municipality. That experience was useful when he moved into current planning and then to preparing and implementing plans and later into management positions in planning. His employment took him from small town to small city planning to large cities and regional planning in Ontario before moving west to Edmonton.
In Edmonton, the opportunities of a large city department that experienced boom and bust cycles twice in his tenure, allowed him to innovate and mentor his planning colleges to try new planning methods and prepare award winning plans and projects. For almost 30 years, Bob’s influence on the planning of the city made the Edmonton Planning & Development Department a leader in planning initiatives.
A strong supporter of professionalism in planning, Bob convinced his Department to require planning staff to be CIP members, with dues paid by the Department. He also encouraged staff involvement in CIP, both provincially and nationally. He attended, presented at and organized CIP events and also was personally active in the American Planning Association conferences and events.
As Manager of Planning and Policy Services and Chairman of the Subdivision Authority, Bob played a pivotal role in the planning and development of the city of Edmonton for many years. Many professional Planners developed their skills and methods of planning while working with him. Several awards, including three CIP Awards of Excellence, two International Downtown Association Awards of Merit and Heritage Canada’s 1996 Achievement Award were the result of his leadership and collaboration with his staff.
Bob completed his planning career doing campus planning as Planning Director at the University of Alberta and also providing private planning consulting services to municipalities in the Edmonton area.