• PhD (Community and Regional Planning), University of British Columbia
  • MEDes (Environmental Design Planning), University of Calgary
  • BA (Fine Arts), University of Saskatchewan

Professional memberships

  • Canadian Institute of Planners
  • ManitobaProfessional Planners Institute


  • International Society for Urban Ecology Biophilic Cities Network IFHP International Federation of Housing and Planning
  • International Urban Planning and Environment Association

Research interests

Sustainable community planning and design, urban ecology, environmental planning, resilient cities and climate adaptation, eco-urban design, diffusion of innovation, social institutional learning for urban restructuring, residential community delivery systems, visualizing sustainability.

Current teaching

  • CITY 7460 Urban Ecology/Environmental Planning
  • CITY 7420 City/Regional Studio
  • City Planning Colloquium
  • EVLU 4006 Sustainable Community Design


Dr. van Vliet has had a long interest in the proposition, principles and practice of more sustainable community planning and design. He has undertaken extensive documentation and assessment of innovative demonstration projects, with particular focus on policy and practice in ecological planning and design for municipal restructing in Scandinavia and northern Europe. He is a member of the International Intervision Institute, correspondent to the International Institute of the Urban Environment, Delft Netherlands, and a member of the IFHP Working Group on Climate Resilient Cities (CRC) 2011-2014. He was also a member of the International Innovation (Advisory) Board for the Multifunction Intensive Landuse Network project (program ended 2008)

Recent publications and presentations

A GreenMap for Winnipeg and Region has been an ongoing project in the City Planning Department for over 7 years. The Map is also a venue for student projects showing research, documentation, analysis, design proposals etc.

A GIS-based interactive Version Two of the map is being developed in collaboration with Manitoba Eco-Network GIS Mapping Centre. A pilot project neighbourhood scale GreenMap is being developed in collaboration with the Spence Neighbourhood Association. uses Google's mapping technology, including satellite imagery, street map views, embedded links, intuitive icons, zooming, and search capabilities. We are able to integrate official city data, plus detailed custom content at the neighbourhood scale.

The Building Green Educational Project is intended to raise awareness of what green buildings, primarily residential, are, what has been done here and elsewhere, and how each person can use this knowledge to improve the effective use of resources, save money, and improve health, and wellness. This project was sponsored by Manitoba Conservation, Sustainable Development Innovations Fund. See the website at:

October 12, 2011
Dr. David van Vliet and Dr. Richard Perron prepared a presentation "Manitoba Floodway", delivered via skype to the Co-operative Urban Planning Approaches (CUPA) workshop Oct 11-13 in Krakow Poland, organized by the International Intervision Institute. Krakow has a long standing designated route in their official city plan for a river diversion floodway they are now considering the pros and cons of implementing. They are very interested in the Winnipeg precedent and ways such a floodway could be more multi-functional. The CUPA Program sponsored by the City and Region of Vienna, Austria, involves a series of implementation workshops with multi-disciplinary teams meeting to develop joint solutions to specific urban planning issues and problems in seven eastern European cities.

Sept 11-14, 2011
Attended for the launch meeting of the Working Group on Climate Resilient Cities (CRC) at the International Federation of Housing and Planning Congress in Tallinn Estonia, His presentation provided a Canadian perspective summarizing the policy and activities in the Canadian Institute of Planners Climate Change program and identified potential partner cities in Europe and North America for study visits, joint research, and implementation labs. This is to be a major focus for research and outreach activity for the next four years and an opportunity to engage students and professionals in Canada. More on implementation labs on the International Intervision Institute website.

In Sept 2011
Joined the office staff of Gruppen for By og Landskabsplanlaegning (GBL -Town and Landscape Planning Group), Kolding Denmark on a two study tour Sept 9,10 in the Øresund region (Denmark and Sweden) visiting recent built projects in ten municipalities.

June 22, 2011
Participated in the Canadian Institute of Planners CIP Climate Change workshop delivered by the Manitoba Institute of Planners

Jan 2011
Attended the 29th annual Red River Basin Land & Water Summit Conference in Fargo Jan 18-20, and met with Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams regarding downtown urban redevelopment and community design alternatives.

Edited and translated brochure for the Climate Project Langkærparken: meeting the expected Danish low-energy classification for new construction 2020, a pilot demonstration for the renewal of 35 blocks in a housing estate in Aarhus Denmark, with GBL Kolding Denmark.

"The Metropolitan Challenge: Bringing Foreman's Finding to Winnipeg" Landscape Paysage Fall 2010, p 36-38.

"Green Infrastructure Networks as Urban Connective Tissue " Plan Canada Canadian Institute of Planners Ottawa Spring 2009 Volume 49, No.1 pp 36-40 (joint authors C. Baker, R. Mahe, K. Wiseman, graduate students in City Planning). The article is based on students winning submission to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation GoGreen Challenge.

"Sustainable Urban Development - Learning from MILUnet (the European Network on multifunctional intensive land use)". Canadian Institute of Planners Conference Winnipeg July 13-16, 2008 in the Urban Planning by Design session.

"Green(map) Space and Cyber Space" at PN2008 The Planners Network Conference "Planning in Challenging Climates" presented in the session 'Green Buildings and Green Cities' session, July 19, 2008.

Participated in the MILUNET (Multi-functional Intensive Land Use Network) IFHP Spring Conference and Closing Event in Lisbon Portugal May 2007. Presentation on The RED Theme, "Urban Fabric and its Infrastructure: Regional and local MILU issues in two science city contexts".

”Urban Fabric and its Infrastructure: Regional and local MILU issues in two science city contexts” in Haccou, H. et al (2007) MILU: Multifunctional and Intensive Land use Principles Practices Projects Policies published by The Habiforum Foundation Gouda Netherlands May 2007, pages 435-484.

"Smart Growth...Green Urbanism", at the first annual 'Building Saskatchewan Green, Sustainable Building Conference' Nov 19, 2004 at Innovation Place, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

Participation in the Saskatoon Road Map 2020 Forum Nov 17, 2004 organized by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Meewassin Valley Authority, City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan, as resource person in the Community Best Practices Discussion Group along with Hugh O'Reilly, Mayor of Whistler, BC. (2003) “Pedestrian Pocket” in the Encyclopedia of the City, Caves, R.W. (editor) School of Public Administration and Urban Studies San Diego State University, San Diego CA.

"The European Network on Multifunctional Intensive Land Use" at the annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference Oct 21-24, 2004 in Portland Oregon.

Represented the Faculty of Architecture at the CMHC sponsored Urban Design Research Dialogue "Moving from Theory to Practice, A Conversation among Planning and Urban Design Schools" Oct 15-16, 2004 in Calgary. He made a presentation "Visualization Narrative and Design Graphic Preference Survey for Sustainable Community Design in Okotoks Alberta."

Attended the first MILUNET (Multi-functional Intensive Land Use Network) workshop in Stockholm Sweden June 8-11. The case study was the urban design integration (focus on infrastructure) of the Kista town centre. Kista is the IT centre of Scandinavia with over 37,000 IT jobs, associated office, commercial, education, housing, and proposed transport infrastructure, working with planners from the City of Stockholm and the Stockholm Region.

"Towards Smart Growth? Concepts, Principles, Strategies" at the “Smart Growth and Cities” public lecture sponsored by Manitoba Professional Planners Institute, City of Winnipeg Civic Environmental Committee Institute for Urban Studies, WIRA Summer Institute 2003 University of Winnipeg, June 4

"Demonstration Exhibition: Performance and Adaptive Management". Paper presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Annual Conference "Waters and Shores" Session: New Directions in Environmental Planning November 21-24, 2002 Baltimore Maryland.

"Development Demonstration: Two Built Projects Substance and Lessons". Paper presented at the Urban Planning and Environment Association symposium "Creating Sustainable Urban Environments: Future Forms for City Living" sponsored by Oxford Centre for Sustainable Development 23rd - 26th September, 2002 Christ Church, Oxford.

"Greening a Brownfield: Vancouver’s South East False Creek". Paper presented at the Urban Planning and Environment Association symposium "Creating Sustainable Urban Environments: Future Forms for City Living" sponsored by Oxford Centre for Sustainable Development 23rd - 26th September, 2002 Christ Church, Oxford.

"Ecological Performance in Demonstration Exhibitions". Paper presented at the "The Unstoppable Wave Ecological Design Conference". University of CA Berkeley. July 4-7/02 San Francisco Institute of Architecture.

"Area Based Demonstration / Exhibition: Adaptive Management and Learning in Municipal and Development Organizations", Paper presented at European Urban Research Association (EURA) / By og Byg (Danish Urban Planning and Building Research Institute) Conference "Area-based Initiatives In Contemporary Urban Policy Innovations in City Governance" Copenhagen, 17–19 May 2001.

van Vliet, D and T. Gade. (2000) "Retrofitting Fredensgade" Alternatives, Faculty of Environmental Studies, U of Waterloo 26:2 "Spring" p 31-2.

van Vliet, D. and Gade, T. (2000) "Sustainable Urban Renewal: Kolding Denmark." in Williams K., Burton. M., Jenks, E. (eds.) Achieving Sustainable Urban Form . London: E&FN Spon, Routledge.pp. 310-318.

van Vliet, D. (2000). "Development / Demonstration: An Adaptive Strategy" in Williams K., Burton. M., Jenks, E. (eds.) Achieving Sustainable Urban Form . London: E&FN Spon, Routledge.pp. 189-201.
van Vliet, D. (1997) Review of the "Urban Ecology Guide to Copenhagen". The Urban Ecologist. Berkeley. p6.

van Vliet, D. and Torben Gade. (1997) "Ecological Urban Renewal: Kolding". Eco-Design. Eco-Design Association. London. England. p 10-14. David van Vliet contributed to, and is updating The Sustainable Community Design site developed in the Faculty of Architecture.