Planning? In Ottawa? Really?


At one time, your agent put much credence in gatherings such as the one in a press release below.

These conferences talk very much about the right things to do in planning. And that’s nice but such ideas are just thrown out the window here.

For example, intensification in principle is a wonderful idea. In Ottawa however, it is another 12-storey high-rise plopped behind the backyards of a number of wonderful old houses. Immediately the street bordering the high-rise begins to decay because who wants to live behind the prying eyes of 12-storeys of people.

That this conference is being hosted by the City of Ottawa is ludicrous. It is a facade that Ottawa is a leading city in urban planning when in fact it is Houston North. Planning rules are thrown out the window if the builder is big enough.

The City of Ottawa is constructing Everywhere North America and that’s not good in what was once a lovely distinctive community.

The release is below:

The City of Ottawa is hosting the 55th International Making Cities Livable Conference on Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods at the Shaw Centre, May 14-18. This is the first time this unique, interdisciplinary Conference has been held in a Canadian city.  It’s mission is “to enhance the physical and social health and well-being of all inhabitants, strengthen community, and increase civic engagement by sustainably reshaping the built environment of our cities, suburbs, towns and villages.”

In welcoming the Conference Mayor Watson says: “We look forward to this opportunity to learn from the experiences of the world-renowned professionals that will be speaking at the conference, and share with you our own journey toward our goal of being the most livable major city in North America.”

Prime Minister Trudeau urges all “at this year’s conference to reflect on the importance of making cities livable for our next generation and the generations to come.” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer and a major speaker at the conference encourages “decision makers and planners at all levels to consider health in making infrastructure planning decisions”.

The IMCL conference brings together those concerned with creating the built environment (planners, urban designers, architects, developers, transportation planners) with those concerned primarily with residents’ health and well-being (professionals in public health and social scientists), and the elected public officials who must guide decisions on how we shape our cities.

With Ottawa’s new Light Rail Transit System spurring rapid growth of new neighborhoods around the transit stations, and many Canadian experiencing unprecedented development it is essential that the built environment be planned to enhance health and sustainability.

The IMCL Conference was founded in 1985 by Henry L. Lennard, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, and Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard, Ph.D.(Arch.), Professor of Social Aspects of Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Berkeley. The Conferences have been held twice a year in Europe and the United States in Venice, Rome, Siena, London, Vienna, Salzburg, Freiburg, Charleston, SC, Santa Fe, NM, Savannah, San Francisco, etc..

Available for interview:
Alain Miguelez, MCIP, RPP, Program Manager, Community Planning, City of Ottawa. Email:
David Wise, MUP, MCIP, Program Manager, Zoning & Interpretation, City of Ottawa
Dr. Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard, IMCL Co-Founder, Director.


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4 thoughts on “Planning? In Ottawa? Really?

  1. There’s lots of planning here in and around Osgoode ward. It would be nice to see some planning and “doing”.
    Growth in housing is moving at a rapid pace but accompanying roads to move the increased volume in traffic is not only not keeping pace, it simply isn’t occurring.


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