About the Department

Our passionate and energetic core faculty of five runs a fully accredited program, together with dedicated professional practitioners, sessional instructors and adjunct professors. We contribute to key planning debates and professional practice on multiple fronts -- participatory planning and design, homelessness and housing, urban revitalization, arts and culture, social justice issues, environmental sustainability, regional planning issues, transportation planning and infrastructure, age-friendly and child-friendly planning and design, and Indigenous planning and governance.

Our unique program focuses on studio-based, hands-on, experiential learning. Throughout the two-year program, students work with governmental, non-profit and Indigenous clients to address real-life planning issues. Studio work is complemented by courses on planning theory, research methods and professional practice, as well as a recommended summer internship to gain professional experience. Students also have the opportunity to take electives outside the Faculty, (e.g., in Geography, Natural Resources, or elsewhere) depending on their interests.

As Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg is an exciting place to study planning, and our Department draws on considerable expertise throughout the region. Our faculty members maintain close links to professional practitioners in Winnipeg, throughout Manitoba and across the country. Students have the opportunity to interact with the planning community and the Manitoba Professional Planners Institute (MPPI) through our mentorship programs and speaker series. We also cooperate with Brandon University's Rural Development Institute.

The program prepares students for work in a variety of planning fields. We aim to strengthen the capacity of planning to enhance the ecological sustainability, social equity and aesthetic qualities of human settlements. The Master of City Planning (MCP) degree is accredited by the Professional Standards Board. Graduates are eligible for full membership status in the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) after gaining relevant professional experience. Our program has an excellent placement record, with the majority of graduates finding rewarding work in the field within three months of graduation.

A Brief History

Established in 1949 as part of the national initiative to develop capabilities in planning and development in post-war Canada, the Department of City Planning at the University of Manitoba offers the oldest continuing planning program in the country, and one of the oldest in North America. We are housed within the Faculty of Architecture. In its early years, the program concentrated on physical planning, reflecting both the nature of planning at the time and the design work of its founding director, Joseph Kostka. John Page (who joined the Department in 1965), Basil Rotoff (joined 1967), Mario Carvalho (1968), Hidehiko Tanimura (1968), and Dimitrios Syliaras (1973) all contributed to the intellectual growth of the Department. The Department’s activist and ethical stance was nurtured under Kent Gerecke’s headship starting in 1975. Earl Levin headed the Department in the early 1980s, with Geoffrey Bargh assuming the headship in 1986, and Christine McKee became head in 1991. The 1990s represented a period of renewal, with Ian Wight (1994), Ian Skelton (1996) and Sheri Blake (1997) joining the Department, as did Rae Bridgman and David van Vliet (both in 1998). They continued to build the Department’s legacy of social justice and environmental sustainability. During his time as Dean of the Faculty of Architecture (2001-2009), David Witty was also a member of the Department.

The Department continues to flourish under the current head Richard Milgrom, with his expertise in urban design and a passion for social justice and community engagement. He joined the Department in 2005, and assumed the headship in 2009. Janice Barry joined the Department in 2013 and Orly Linovski joined in 2015.

Over the years, the Department has consistently reached out to local communities to address timely and urgent planning issues. Our alumni live and work from coast-to-coast and around the world.