Dalhousie alumnus wins National Young Planner Award

Kourosh Rad (BCD’11) has received the prestigious Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) national President’s Award for Young Planners. The award was presented at a conference in Calgary last month and is in recognition of Rad’s diverse planning background and his contributions to the community at large. Rad is in the company of past high profile winners from Toronto, including Christina Laura Sgro and David Fitzpatrick.

Kourosh RadAs an Iranian-Canadian planner living in Halifax, Rad immigrated to Canada from Iran with his family in 2007, and started his Bachelor of Community Design at Dalhousie University. After graduation, he completed an internship in Paris with an online journal focusing on modal share transportation systems. Rad was then selected for an internship program through CIDA/CIP to work with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs in Guyana. Upon his return, he started working as a planner with WSP in Halifax where he was mentored by Greg Zwicker (MURP’00). During his five years as a consultant, he discovered his passion for real estate development and led multi-disciplinary teams in design and approval of over 3,000 residential units and over a million sq. ft. of commercial spaces in Atlantic Canada. Rad is now Vice President of Research & Development with Compass Commercial and under the leadership of Robert Richardson (BComm’84), is responsible for identifying future trends and strategies for commercial real estate portfolios.

“It’s an honour to receive this national recognition. As our cities grow, their challenges become more complex: from housing, infrastructure, heritage preservation, and transportation to access to clean air, public spaces, economic opportunities, and the right to an attractive city. In this environment, planners play a crucial role in balancing the need for change with the desire and the reason to resist it. Our profession has the duty to set the bar high for building a livable city and listen, learn, educate, compromise, collaborate, and, more than anything, be patient,” states Rad.

Rad was nominated for the award by Jacob Ritchie (BEng’03), HRM Urban Design Manager. This nomination was supported by MP Andy Fillmore (BEDS’91, MURP’92), Councillor Waye Mason (BA’06), Dalhousie’s Nathan Rogers (MPlan’08), Architecture49’s Abigail MacEachern, Southwest’s Eric Burchill (MBA’03), and WSP Sweden’s Charlotte Hauksson.

The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is the national professional body working on behalf of over 6,300 planning professionals nationally, and has served as the voice of Canada’s planning community since 1919. Established in 2011, the President’s Award for Young Planners is given to one outstanding planner under the age of 35 every year. This year’s award was presented at CIP’s annual conference in Calgary.