Welcome to the Council for Canadian Urbanism

At CanU we are focused on advancing great urban design as the foundation for city building in communities across Canada.  We do this by connecting people and professionals who have similar interests, educating and informing stakeholders and influencers, giving support to those involved in city design and advocating for better policies, programs and investments.

CanU changed in 2020.  How? 

We saw clearly that our mission - advocacy for great city-building through design - must expand to ensure that the benefits of a great city are accessible to all.  This was the focus of our recent 2020 STEP UP Series,* which included four conversations on how urban design can make access a priority. 


We’re sharing highlights of the STEP UP Series over the coming in a series of short videos.


We are also starting a series of interviews with authors of recent books that explore urban design in contemporary city-building through the access lens.


The first interview is with Larry Beasley, former Co-Director of Planning for Vancouver. During his tenure Vancouver underwent a dramatic transformation, driven by the idea of livability. His book, Vancouverism, provides insights into his thoughts and actions at the City between 1986 and 2006. Don’t miss this evocative conversation between Larry Beasley and Meg Holden, director of the urban studies program at Simon Fraser University. Their conversation covers all the critical themes in the book and doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff: affordability, the role of planners as city-builders, deal brokering with developers, and exporting the principles of Vancouverism abroad. Larry shares what worked and what didn’t in the remarkable downtown transformation he helped to shape.


To round out the discussion of livability in Vancouver, join Larry’s tour of South Downtown on the CanU website, part of the CanU 2020 STEP UP Series.  Gain valuable insights as Larry illustrates many of Vancouverism’s principles through the lens of his own neighbhourhood, a place he continues to live in and learn from.

New from CanU

The Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU) is a network of city planners, urban designers, architects landscape architects, engineers, developers and other urbanists operating across Canada, in urban design leadership positions within city governments and the private or community sectors.

CanU strives to connect urbanists across Canada and has actively promoted the inclusion of all regions with representation in both English and French, in the use of best practices and in sharing experience in the building of great communities.

CanU believes that dialogue and debate is required, but must lead to meaningful action. It is up to all those involved in planning and design of our cities, subscribing and believing in this idea, to respond to this appeal and rally with the group leading towards a better future for our regions, cities, towns and villages.


About CanU

CanU 2020


Bold Ideas for Resilient City Design 

Check out the CanU 2020 Virtual Tours: Vancouver 

Each year, the CanU host city offers a number of tours to give attendees an on-the-ground experience of the evolving urban environment.  This year, with the help of Vancouver videographer & CBC contributor, Uytae Lee, you have the chance to ‘walk’ Vancouver with four local hosts.

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