The urban tsunami: A role for Canadian planners

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Harcourt, Mike
During the 1999 CIP Conference in Montreal, I presented two initiatives. The first of these was the Sustainable Cities Initiative of the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy, an initiative which I chaired from 1997 to early 1999. The second was the Georgia-Puget Basin project, which involves a number of activities focused on a "smart growth" strategy and action plan for the immensely challenging geographic area encompassing Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle. In this article, I will give brief descriptions of these two exciting strategic activities involving urban sustainability. I will then show how they are linked, and conclude with a challenge to Canadian planners to help create a practitioner-friendly approach to urban sustainability both at home and abroad. As we approach the twenty-first century -the first truly urban century, when more people will live in cities than in the countryside- there are huge opportunities for Canadian planners and business people to do good and do well.
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