Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
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.

Read our special centenary edition of Plan Canada


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Plan Canada is read by 90% of Canadian certified planners. A printed copy of the magazine is distributed to over 7,000 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.

Please click here for fully indexed back issues of Plan Canada magazine (from 1991-2017). 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.

Upcoming Submission Deadlines:

Are Intelligent Communities a Smart Way to Go?

We live in a technologically advanced world where nearly every aspect of daily living is influenced by modern computer science.  But technology is meant to serve a need and to provide useful tools.  Perhaps most importantly, technological knowledge solves problems in a practical way – that is the very definition of intelligence.  As communities around the world enthusiastically adopt new technologies, they are competing to "one-up” each other and to proudly proclaim themselves a “smart city”.  The nomenclature is compelling:  what community wouldn’t want to be labelled “smart”?
Many would argue that twenty-first century innovations have resulted in profound enhancements in quality of life.  Others are raising concerns, asserting that we may have reached a point where the role of technology in the contexts of planning and community-building ought to be managed.  Sometimes it is not clear what problem a technology is trying to solve, why data is being collected or by whom.  The issues of possession and control of data, and the tools to gather and manage it, speak to the essence of democracy:  who gets to make decisions for a community and what is the process by which collective decisions are taken?  Are we embracing this new-found intelligence with "eyes wide open" or are we unconsciously accepting it?  Is the public interest at risk if communities cede control of technology?
As the world’s economies and societies, as well as the places we live in become ever more “advanced", fundamental questions about privacy, transparency, and ethics, are surfacing.  This issue of Plan Canada takes stock of where Canadian communities are at in terms of technology, and where they might be headed.  It seeks to showcase the tools, innovations and advancements in communities of every size.  It will also discuss the role of technology in communities, now and into the future, and it will present the debate about limitations on the role of technology.  The future is unfolding; are planning professionals being smart about the implications of emerging intelligence? 

Deadline for Submissions : June 15, 2020
Winter 2020 The Pandemic and After
We find ourselves living through remarkable times. The world we thought we knew is suddenly different and further change seems inevitable. Already, some are calling this period “The Great Transformation”.
For Plan Canada’s winter 2020 issue, we are seeking articles on how the global COVID-19 pandemic has and will affect our professional work and our communities. We invite articles that document the impacts, highlight the challenges, and describe the adaptations that could reinvent the policies, processes, and products that are at the core of our work. Also welcome are thoughtful pieces on the longer-term implications for the form and function of communities.

The current crisis has highlighted the crucial role of planning in ensuring social stability and collective well-being. Canadian planners will be facing a changed world and greater responsibilities after 2020. Let’s begin a conversation to define the path forward for our profession and our communities.

Deadline for Submissions : September 18, 2020
Spring 2021 Social and Racial Equity

By the very nature of the profession’s focus on the built and natural environments, planners have broad impact. Whether it involves housing, transportation, the public realm or business regulations, planning fundamentally influences how people connect within their communities. It can affect people’s life opportunities, their power to shape their environment and their sense of belonging.

The United Nations New Urban Agenda (2016) asserts that integrating equity into land development is a matter of social justice. National planning organizations around the world are challenged to implement sustainable development goals that include gender equality and reducing inequality. This work builds on more than a century of advocacy work by grassroots organizations and individuals who have challenged urban renewal, displacement, forced evictions, colonialism, loss of livelihoods and environmental racism, while fighting for fair housing, decent wages and universal accessibility.

This issue of Plan Canada looks at why planning with an equity lens matters, what equitable impacts look like and how exclusion or inequity within the profession affect the communities we serve. What does it mean to practice equity-based planning? How can we measure the equity impacts of our work? What steps can individual planners take to view planning through an equity lens? What inequitable planning practices – both historical and current – should be acknowledged and critically examined?

Contributors are encouraged to submit research, presentations, projects, policies or initiatives with a focus on social and racial equity. Submissions could be on matters including Indigenous reconciliation and racial-equity reparations, environmental justice, healthy communities, climate change imbalances, equitable access to transportation or about how urban design and the built environment can be exclusionary. International perspectives are welcome as well as any work that showcases inclusive planning practices.

Deadline for Submissions : December 14, 2020