The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) annual national conference was particularly important this year as it celebrated the centenary year of CIP, having been established in 1919. Hundreds of planners from across the country came to Ottawa to celebrate the anniversary, including Cahdco’s Anna Froehlich, Cynthia Jacques, and myself. The conference offered workshops, learning tours, and concurrent sessions on a range of topics as diverse as the attending planners’ backgrounds. Session titles included: Planning for Climate Change, Indigenous Health in the City, Age Friendly Community Planning, Supporting Electric Vehicle Charging, Land Use Bylaw Generation 2.0, and many, many others.
In addition to participating and learning at the conference, the Cahdco team was busy preparing its own three-hour learning tour for 30 conference participants. The tour included four affordable housing developments in Ottawa that demonstrated a range of planning approaches and funding strategies: Cornerstone Housing for Women’s Princeton Residence; Multifaith Housing Initiative’s (MHI) “The Haven”; Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation’s (CCOC) Arlington housing; and CCOC’s Beaver Barracks project. During the tour, Anna and Cynthia discussed the successes and challenges of developing affordable housing in Ottawa, possible next steps to further the implementation of the National Housing Strategy, and lessons for planners to help facilitate development of affordable housing, such as holding onto land instead of selling to for-profit developers and providing fee and property tax waivers.