Jeanne Mary Wolfe is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Urban Planning, McGill University, Montreal. Educated at London University, the University of Western Ontario and McGill, she worked at the City of Montreal, the Quebec Provincial Government and in the private sector as a planner before beginning her academic career. She was Director of the School of Urban Planning from 1988 to 1999. Her teaching has focused on History and Theory, Studio teaching based on real world problems, and introductory Urban Planning. Today she teaches Urban Planning and Infrastructure at McGill’s term abroad in Barbados, a job she considers a “hardship” posting!
Her research interests include housing, governance and institutional change, urban policy, and international development. A leading scholar in the history and theory of city planning, and in community development, housing, and planning practice in Canada, Jeanne is co-editor of four books, and author or co-author of numerous book chapters, technical reports, journal articles, working papers, research reports, newspaper articles and book reviews. She has supervised research for well over one hundred Masters theses and two PhD dissertations at McGill.
At the same time Jeanne has been very active in Montreal urban affairs, as a housing and preservation advocate, and is a keen publicist of local and Canadian planning issues. A strong supporter of community engagement, and contributor to many initiatives that have resulted in neighbourhood revitalization, lasting social and economic improvements for residents, and good city design, she is a leader in encouraging university outreach. In addition she has often been called upon to be a commissioner in public hearings on planning issues and to serve on boards and committees.
Since 1985 Jeanne has also worked extensively overseas, usually involving students in research trips. Projects include: preparatory work towards a plan for Belize City (1985-90), setting up post-graduate planning studies at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad (1990-95), institutional strengthening through the Partnership in Urban Development, led by the Montreal Interuniversity Group, Urbanisation and Development, which includes work in Trinidad, Puebla, San José and Haiti (1990-2003), a Caribbean-wide infrastructure study for the IADB (1996), an ongoing comparative examination of land tenure and access to housing in Trinidad, St. Lucia and Costa Rica (2003-2007) and research into governance with the World Bank (2002). Since her retirement she has been engaged in a Shastri-funded action research project on solid waste management in two cities in India (2004-2007), development of a subdivision in Kampala, focused on providing for urban agriculture (2005-2007) and participates in the work of the Canadian Institute of Planners in China (2003-2004, and this year).
Jeanne’s tireless devotion to the betterment of the planning profession has earned her the respect and admiration of her students, peers and all who know her. The Canadian Institute of Planners is honoured to award Jeanne Wolfe this year’s President’s award to thank her for her outstanding lifetime commitment to professional planning within Canada and internationally.