Canadian Institue Of Planners

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Sustaining Canada's Future.

Plan Canada

Plan Canada is the premier planning magazine in Canada and the official magazine of the Canadian Institute of Planners. It is published quarterly and features informative and beautifully presented articles on innovative projects and best practices in Canadian planning, as well as original research by practitioners and academics. Each edition explores one theme in the planning world.

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Plan Canada Editorial Committee

The Plan Canada Editorial Committee is responsible for encouraging high-quality, timely, relevant, and engaging planning-related content for Plan Canada magazine.

Read the Editorial Committee Bios here.


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Plan Canada is read by 90% of Canadian registered planners, through its distribution to over 7,500 planners, students, industry stakeholders, and municipal and federal government officials. Click here to download the Plan Canada media kit. 



If you are a CIP member, your Plan Canada subscription is a member benefit. Those interested in the planning community in Canada can subscribe to Plan Canada without being a CIP member. Simply complete the subscription form.

For current planning information, trends, and best practices become a CIP member and receive the newest issues of Plan Canada as part of your membership benefits.

Looking for back issues? Vancouver Island University has a free, public index of Plan Canada issues, with more being added regularly.


We invite submissions of short papers and research reviews, notes on practice, and book or film reviews. Articles submitted must be original and not published or submitted for publication in other media (including websites, electronic newsletters, or other print publications). We favour articles with a strong policy framework and context, containing clear methodologies pertaining to studies and research, and providing critical reflection or lessons for planning practice. Authors can expect a three month time frame for initial review of submitted material and will be notified if their submission is rejected, accepted as is, or accepted conditionally with revisions. All submitted articles will be returned to authors along with comments and advice regarding any revisions required to render it suitable for publication.

See the Author Guidelines for further submission information.

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2022 Submission Deadlines:

Summer 2022

Suburban Transformation (Summer 2022)

As many have pointed out, the world is now more than half urban. Fewer, however, have noted that the urban is actually mostly suburban. The suburbs have been identified as a challenge in planning going back to the 1960s and the profession has been torn in terms of its central role in the dissemination of suburbs across the land while at the same time denouncing them as “cookie cutter”, ’sub-urban”, “placeless”, “inefficient”, “exclusive”, and “sprawling”. The social composition of suburbs has changed much over the last few decades, with many now serving as home base for growing immigrant communities. There is more poverty and homelessness in suburban areas than we reckoned with in the past. Not surprisingly, much of the planning rhetoric is focused on reforming the suburban model to make it more broadly inclusive and equitable, less auto-dependent, and more compact.
This issue of Plan Canada will look at how suburban places have changed over the last decades - partially in response to these critiques - and how the new suburbs are performing as a human habitat in the age of climate change, deepening social inequality, neo-liberal politics, economic dislocation, demographic change, and continued rapid population growth. Looking forward, the issue will also speculate on how the suburbs will continue to evolve and the main opportunities that are now presenting themselves for reformatting this very popular but, for many, deeply flawed landscape. 
The issue will take stock of the numerous trends now impacting the suburbs, including the move towards polycentric development around suburban nodes, retrofitting of failing shopping malls, new suburban downtowns, and transit-oriented development. What are the best practices and examples of these initiatives? Are these various movements transforming suburbs into a new kind landscape model? Could these changes address one set of problems while exacerbating others, such as suburban gentrification or social exclusion? What do higher densities achieve? What are the economic, social, and environmental costs of retrofitting suburbia? Do complete streets, transit services, bike paths, and pedestrian facilities make these places more walkable? Are suburbs doing enough to address housing affordability?
The suburbs are transforming. Let’s highlight how Canadian planners are leading the change.

Deadline for submission is March 10.

Autumn 2022 Perspectives on Environment and Climate Change (Autumn 2022)
Transformations and impacts within the natural, physical, and social environments as a result of a changing climate continue. It is clear that bolder mitigation and adaptation measures are required. An increasing awareness of and support for action on environmental and climate change issues is illustrated by Canada’s 2019 declaration of a national climate emergency. A growing number of municipalities and Indigenous communities are also raising a renewed call for action.
Recognizing that planning informed by climate change should be a focus for the profession, the Canadian Institute of Planners established a policy on climate change planning in 2018. It recognized that the planning profession, with its broad base and far-reaching influence, has a key role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping communities adapt to changing climate conditions, protecting the natural environment, and more generally, supporting the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Plan Canada has previously focused on the topic of environment and sustainability, with articles that explored climate change legislation and policy, agriburbs, urban agriculture amenities, and sustainable arctic development. This issue will revisit the topic with renewed rigour. How has the landscape further shifted over the past few years? What role are Canadian planners taking in climate change mitigation and adaptation? What planning responses, innovative strategies, initiatives, and tools have communities and planners developed to improve the ecosystem? How is a changing climate considered in our professional practice? How do we recognize and address the disproportionate impacts of a changing climate on our most vulnerable populations? 
Submissions are encouraged on a wide range of topics including, but certainly not limited to, highlights on green development and building standards, firsthand experiences with implementation, and perspectives from the development community. From best practice case examples to urban forest management initiatives, the scope is exhaustive. Articles that highlight specific aspects such as food, water, energy, waste, green infrastructure, transportation, resilience and adaptation planning, and community planning are encouraged.

Deadline for article submission is June 9.
Winter 2022 Looking Back, Looking Forward (Winter 2022)
A critical review of the profession's achievements, shortcomings, and lessons learned to prepare us for a more sustainable future.
The list of complex topics that have so far eluded satisfactory solutions from planners is growing longer by the day, made more challenging by the need to respond to the continuing impact of COVID-19 and a desire to tackle EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) in a meaningful way:
  • Where are the strategies and actions that will help communities mitigate and adapt to climate change?
  • Can more effective growth management curb urban sprawl?
  • Why are some parts of Canada still allowing development in flood plains, more than 60 years after ‘Hurricane Hazel’ revolutionized environmental planning in Ontario?
  • Why is high-quality urban design that delivers intensification without compromising livability the exception rather than the rule?
  • What is being done to deal with shrinking rural communities and vanishing farmland?
  • Why is unaffordable housing still the norm in cities and towns of all sizes?
  • Do we know what it takes to deliver transport-supportive development?
Faced with these and other challenges, and in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the formation of the College of Fellows, the Winter 2002 edition of Plan Canada invites Fellows to share their wisdom and experience with personal reflections, predictions and prescriptions for a more sustainable future.
But this is also a call for critiques from the membership at large. We want to hear from students, aspiring and early-career-stage planners, including planners enrolled in CIP’s Emerging Leaders Program and anyone with substantive suggestions for solving intractable problems.
This special issue of Plan Canada will be co-led by Editorial Committee member Lyndsay Francis and a Fellow to be nominated by the 20th anniversary committee.
Articles should be no more than 800-1000 words. Articles co-authored by Fellows and younger planners are also welcome. Start preparing your contribution to this edition of the magazine now!

Deadline for article submission is September 15.