On Monday November 9th The School of Planning organized an event to celebrate World Town Planning Day (WTPD). This event was a celebration of planners’ contributions to the society and planning around the world. The WTPD was quite successful in bringing together external stakeholders, alumni, professional planners, and students together in celebrating the contributions of professional planners and planning students.

MPlan student Harrison Ellis presented his work: Public Transportation and COVID19

One of the most unique elements of this event is that it focused on planning for COVID19 and similar types of crisis in designing cities, towns, and communities. Our students, through their work, showed promise and hope to make a difference in the planning field. Students had the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their knowledge and creativity about how to make people safe and prosperous while they live, work, and play.

Keynote speaker Jennifer Keesmaat

The highlight of the program was the featured guest speaker, Jennifer Keesmaat (former Chief Planner, City of Toronto), who spoke about ways to plan for cities moving forward post-pandemic and inspired us with her insight. The program also included key messages from civic leaders, including Andy Fillmore, Wendy Donovan, Sam Austin, Patricia Cuttell, and Jen Powley.

Proud Alumnus Andy Fillmore (BEDS ’90, MURP ’92)

The program attendance reached up to 80+ participants and the School has received positive feedbacks from local civic leaders and members of planning communities, the School, and the professional organization. The student organization really felt empowered and celebrated through this WTPD and a commitment to devote more time in changing the way we design our cities and to tackle with challenges of COVID19.

“Thank you to all who participated in and supported our World Planning Day virtual event. It was a meaningful opportunity to celebrate the work that happens at the School and in our communities.” -Ahsan Habib Director, School of Planning