Planning Profession Background

The practice of planning today can trace its historical roots to traditional land-use, city and town planning. The organized, deliberate, conscious planning, organization and development of human settlements, resources and space date back centuries, and are historically evident in cultures and locations across the world.

These planning activities also often progressed organically, with the cumulative involvement of many individuals, groups and organizations over time. What is now known and thought of as the practice of planning was historically undertaken by a variety of practitioners from different disciplines — including engineers, architects, military planners, government administrators, private land-owners, institutions, and others.

As an organized, specialized profession, planning has largely emerged and evolved in the twentieth century. The Royal Town Planning Institute in the United Kingdom was established in 1914. In Canada planners formed the Town Planning Institute of Canada in 1919 (predecessor to the Canadian Institute of Planners) under the leadership of Thomas Adams. The Planning Institute of British Columbia was incorporated in 1958.