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Planning Podcasts

Welcome & Introduction from PIBC's Communications Committee
Podcasts have become a popular, engaging, and effective way to learn about a wide variety of topics, including timely and topical planning issues. With a growing number of podcasts available from many experts and organizations, the PIBC Communications Committee set out to bring PIBC members access to fresh perspectives through this new way of learning.

Curated and reviewed by the PIBC Communications Committee, the selected podcasts explore a variety of planning issues including climate change, housing, community engagement, and more. Podcasts summaries are featured in each issue of Planning West magazine (starting with the Spring 2023 issue) and shared online here. Take a listen and let us know what you think!

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Got a podcast about planning you want to share? Contact our Planning West Editor with your podcast summary at

*Please note: Podcast content and opinions are solely those of the podcast creators. PIBC does not endorse external third party content shared for general information, and does not necessarily endorse or share any of the information, views, or opinions expressed on any external podcast(s). Podcast links and content may change without notice, and PIBC is not responsible for such changes to external podcasts.


List of Planning Podcasts

Podcast Link (run time 1:24:00)

From Strong Towns Podcast
Host: Charles Marohn
Guest: Tristan Cleveland, PhD, MCIP, Urban Planner at Happy Cities

Podcast Summary: After World War II, the U.S. embarked on an experiment in how we build cities. Instead of creating places scaled to people who walked, we built suburbs that focused on moving cars quickly and efficiently. Author and urban planner, Tristan Cleveland, discusses his recently published PhD thesis, which identifies impactful strategies to transform cardependent suburbs into healthy, walkable places in Canada and the United States.

Why Planners Should Listen: Urban planners face a new challenge in low density suburbs. The economic logic of car-dependent areas encourages low-cost, car-oriented strip malls and big box stores, and it can be difficult to shift these incentives. Cleveland lays out a practical program for overcoming these challenges to kickstart a new kind of healthier, more people-friendly growth.

Podcast summary submitted by Leah Karlberg, PIBC Candidate Member (Planning West, Winter 2024)

Podcast Link (run time 27:00)

From 99% Invisible Podcast, Episode 537 – Paved Paradise
Host: Roman Mars, creator of 99% Invisible Podcast
Guest: Henry Grabar, author of Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World

Podcast Summary: LA might be the most extreme parking city on the planet. Parking regulations have made it nearly impossible to build new affordable housing or to renovate old buildings. Henry Grabar tells a mesmerizing story about the strange and wonderful super-organism that is the modern American city. In a beguiling and often absurdly hilarious mix of history, politics, and reportage, Grabar brilliantly surveys the pain points of the nation’s parking crisis.

Why Planners Should Listen: Planners are used to discussions about parking but before you sigh and say, “another parking discussion emphasizing buses and bikes – I’ve already heard it,” 99% Invisible challenges this and achieves an engaging conversation that lays out how policy decisions made now may have unintended consequences for decades to come. Strongly recommend a listen for anyone struggling with parking regulations and how to rationalize reducing them.

Podcast summary submitted by Kali Holahan RPP, MCIP, PIBC Communications Committee Chair (Planning West, Winter 2024)

Podcast Link (run time 30:00)

From American Planning Association’s “People Behind the Plans” Podcasts
Host: Jason Jordan, Director of Public Affairs, American Planning Association
Guest: Nolan Gray, Research Director at California YIMBY, professional planner and Author of Arbitrary Lines

Podcast Summary: In this special podcast episode, Nolan examines the cities and states charting a new course for zoning reform and offers advice for planners navigating the myriad of interests impacting land use decisions.

Why Planners Should Listen: As the old saying goes, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” For decades, planner Nolan Gray argues, zoning has been the hammer swung by cities at a laundry list of challenges. But this blunt tool, developed to regulate land use and density, has caused profound collateral damage. Listen to this podcast for insights into Gray’s book, Arbitrary Lines, which looks for answers in the form of zoning reform in America.

Podcast summary submitted by Heike Schmidt RPP, MCIP, PIBC Communications Committee Chair (Planning West, Fall 2023)

Podcast Link (run time 37:00)

From Generation Squeeze Podcast Series “Hard Truths”
Host: Umair Muhammad, Knowledge to Action Lead, Generation Squeeze
Guest: Andrea Long, Senior Director, Research & Knowledge Mobilization, Generation Squeeze, and Paul Kershaw, Founder, Generation Squeeze & Policy Professor at UBC School of Population and Public Health.

Podcast Summary: In this episode, Generation Squeeze talks about the results of a poll they commissioned on housing wealth and affordability. Among other things, the poll found that a majority of Canadians support a modest surtax for those who live in homes worth more than $1 million. The podcast discusses the implications of these findings, why there is a need to start closing the home ownership tax shelter, and lots more. Full results of the poll available at:

Why Planners Should Listen: This Generation Squeeze podcast is an excellent starting point to learn about the nuances of Canada’s housing crisis, as the team ensures the content is accessible and easy to understand. This specific episode dives into the topic of home ownership tax shelter and how it has produced a substantial inequity among Canadians (“haves” and “have-nots” based on the geographic location of homeownership). They also discuss potential solutions to mitigate issues moving forward. While most planners have little to no say regarding tax laws, it is important that planners understand the full picture of Canada’s housing system in order to better communicate with the public and make smart policy decisions.

Podcast summary submitted by Lindsay Allman RPP, MCIP, PIBC Communications Committee Member (Planning West, Fall 2023)

Podcast Link (run time 9:34)

From The Water Insider podcast series by DHI Group (Danish Hydraulic Institute)
Host: Jan (Honza) Krejcik, Urban Water Professional at DHI
Guest: Jan Jerzy Kwiatkowski, Senior Water Specialist at The World Bank

Podcast Summary: Cities around the world are growing rapidly. In this episode, water experts try to give an answer to two pressing questions: - How do we ensure a more sustainable use of urban water in the context of accelerated urbanization? - Could an integrated management of water systems be a solution?

Why Planners Should Listen: DHI has developed five short podcasts (10 - 20 minutes each) about urban water management. While it used to be “humans versus environment,” with the water taking a backseat, we are now planning for “humans in the environment.” Of interest to planners, sustainability professionals, and urban water stakeholders, this 10-minute podcast discusses the changing paradigm of what urban water management can include.

Podcast summary submitted by Lindsay Allman RPP, MCIP, PIBC Communications Committee Member (Planning West, Spring 2023)

Podcast Link (run time 34:29)

From the Porcupine Podcast series by Porcupine Media
Hosts: Merrell-Ann Phare and Michael Miltenberger
Guests: Eric-Lorne Blais, Kerry-Ann Charles, and Natasha Overduin

Podcast Summary: This special episode features water experts Eric-Lorne Blais, Kerry-Ann Charles, and Natasha Overduin as they answer difficult water and reconciliation questions in front of a live audience at the Canadian Water Resources Association 2019 Conference.

Why Planners Should Listen: Porcupine asks important – and sometimes prickly – questions about reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Here’s the old joke: how do two porcupines hug? Carefully. And such is the story of reconciliation – at least so far. This podcast episode discusses reconciliation and how it relates to water. Water is a commonality among all people and, to fix water issues, we have to be able to work together. A key lesson: “We need to stop thinking about our environment as commodity and start thinking about it as community – as it once was.” This podcast would be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about our relationship with water, Indigenous perspectives of caring for our land, and planners who are working on developments or policy decisions where water is involved.

Podcast summary submitted by Lindsay Allman RPP, MCIP, PIBC Communications Committee Member (Planning West, Spring 2023)

Podcast Link (run time 40:00)

From Urban Land Institute (ULI) Toronto’s Electric Cities Podcast – Housing Affordability Crisis Series (Season 7, Episode 2)
Host: Jeremy Warson, Director of Portfolio Development at Infrastructure Ontario
Guest: Craig Ruttan, Policy Director for Energy, Environment, and Land Use with the Toronto Region Board of Trade

Podcast Summary: In this episode, Craig Ruttan, one of the authors of the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Meeting in the Middle report, urges the Province of Ontario to eliminate exclusionary zoning on missing middle housing as a means to increase housing supply.

Why Planners Should Listen: Listen to this interview to learn more about the Meeting in the Middle report. Ruttan discusses how exclusionary zoning is currently leading to most residential neighbourhoods being protected from modest forms of density, such as triplexes or small apartment buildings. These building types represent the missing middle of residential housing stock between single-detached dwellings and large apartments. Ruttan speaks to incorporating missing middle housing as a way to address housing affordability and availability and provides recommendations for the government to reconsider existing policies. Visit to download a copy of the Meeting in the Middle report.

Podcast summary submitted by Kali Holahan RPP, MCIP, PIBC Communications Committee Member (Planning West, Summer 2023)

Podcast Link (run time 27:00)

From American Planning Association (APA) Podcast – People Behind the Plans Series (Episode 39)
Host: Courtney Kashima AICP, planner and small business owner of Muse Community + Design
Guest: Nithya Raman, American urban planner and L.A. City Council member

Podcast Summary: In this episode, Nithya Raman shares her vision for reducing homelessness. She also offers tips for working more effectively with city governments and explains how planners can use their expertise to educate and galvanize communities for positive change.

Why Planners Should Listen: Nithya Raman’s election win in L.A. has been described as a political earthquake and she’s clearly there to get things done and create positive change. Listening to this interview with Raman challenged me to think again about how I’ve been reacting to similar issues in my own city – homelessness, housing development, and community engagement – both as a planner and citizen. The depth of her experience is impressive, as is the thoughtfulness of her approach to representing people in her L.A. constituency and working on tough planning issues. The interviewer does a great job in asking questions that help reveal Raman as a whole person – planner, politician, non-profit founder, community developer, and mother. It’s also a good starting place for other podcasts in this APA series.

Podcast summary submitted by Alison McNeil, Retired Member & PIBC Communications Committee member (Planning West, Summer 2023)

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