Senior Scholar
Department of City Planning
Faculty of Architecture
skype: ianwightskype



  • M.A. (Hons), University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  • M.Sc., University of Alberta
  • Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Dip. Human Ecology, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Memberships and affiliations

  • Canadian Institute of Planners
  • Integral Institute
  • Next Step Integral
  • Ginger Group Collaborative/Ginger West Node
  • Scientific and Medical Network (SMN) (UK)


A Canadian of Scottish descent, Ian joined the Department in 1994, after almost 20 years of professional planning practice, mainly in Alberta and BC, in the fields of regional planning, municipal affairs, and islands planning/governance. Tenured and promoted in 2001 Ian served as the Head of the City Planning program from 2003 to 2008. He currently resides near Victoria, BC.

Ian is a long-time member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, including service on the Editorial Board of Plan Canada and on the Program Committee of several National Conferences, most notably as the Program Chair for the 2008 conference in Winnipeg. He was a founding board member of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, an inaugural member of the Integral Institute, and continues to engage with two main 'communities of practice' - the Ginger Group Collaborative and Next Step Integral.

Involved in professional planning for 35 years, as both a practitioner and educator, Ian always aims to try to position himself at the leading-edge, wary of the status quo, and with an eye for the post-conventional. He promotes planning as placemaking (as wellbeing by design), and regional planning as common-place-making on a grand scale. Current action research is focused on 'evolving professionalism - beyond the status quo', with an interest in the implications of an integral perspective - prospecting an integral form of planning that would transcend and include the best of pre-modern, modern and post-modern planning. Building on the social technologies of presencing and meshworking, this includes workshops on praxis-making and ethos-making – meshing the personal, the professional and the spiritual.

Current research

  • Evolving Professionalism Beyond the Status Quo: Contemplating the Education of the Agents of the Next Enlightenment – Praxis, Ethos, Poiesis
  • In Pursuit of a Place We Can All Call Home: Comparative city-region planning and governance (especially in Western Canada provincial capital city-regions)
  • Placemaking and Wellbeing – Integrating Perspectives for Planning and Design

Teaching interests

  • Professional Planning Theory/Practice, Professional-Self-Design and Civic Professionalism (professional planning practice)
  • Mediating the Urban, the Rural and the Regional (city- region studio)
  • Urban Development and City Planning (urban development)
  • Integral Theory/Practice (application to planning and design) (e.g. applied integral ecology elective)

Activities (2003-2014)

'Mediating the Politics of Place: Negotiating Our Professional and Personal Selves' Plan Canada, Autumn 2003, 21-23

'Place-making as Applied Integral Ecology: Evolving an Ecologically-Wise Planning Ethic', World Futures 61: 127-137 (2005)

'Sensing Place Through an Integral Lens: Pointers for a Postmodern Planning as Place-making'. Presentation to the 'Senses of Place' conference, Hobart, Tasmania, April 2006.

(with Edith Frisen) 'Integrally-Informed Journaling for Professional Self-Design: Emerging Experience in a Graduate Program Context' Journal of Integral Theory and Practice 4(3): 59-86 (2009).

'Joining-Up the Spiritual and the Professional in Planning Education: Exploring Interfaces (for more spiritually-activist professing?) Paper presented at AESOP 2009 (Track 3: Planning Education).

'Quiet Resolve' (Our Emerging Planning Ethos - The outcome of the March 23, 2011 Ethos-Making Workshop, held in The Quiet Room, St John's College, University of Manitoba. Workshop Participants - a mis of Winnipeg Planning Students and Practitioners).

'Agency in Communion' (Our Emerging Inter-Professional Ethos - An offering of an outcome of the May 20, 2011 Ethos-Making Workshop, held in the The Quiet Room, St John's College, University of Manitoba. Workshop Participants: A Mix of Members of the Built Environment Professions Practicing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).

'Valuing Planning: An Ethics/Ethos in the Making' Plan Canada, Spring 2011, 36-39.

'Planning by Design in Community: Making Great Places?' Plan Canada, Summer 2011, 29-32.

'Enacting Ethics Education as Ethos-Making: Meshing the Personal, the Professional and the Spiritual' Paper presented at WPSC 2011 Perth, Western Australia (Track 12: Planning Education + Professional Practice).

'From Codified Ethics to Co-Created Ethos: Staking Common Ground in Uncertain Times' Plan Canada, Winter 2011, 32-35.

'Place, place-making and planning: and integral perspective with wellbeing in (body) mind (and spirit)', Chapter 15, 231-248 in Wellbeing and Place, edited by S. Atkinson, S. Fuller and J. Painter, Ashgate Publishing (2012).

'Praxis + Ethos + Poiesis: The Making/s of Professionals - An Elephant of a Professional Self-Design Project' Warehouse 2012, 78-81 (the Journal of FAUM Students).

'Ethics in Professional Planning Practice (Part 1): Four Sources of Ethical Obligations' Plan Canada, Spring 2013, 18-21.

'Ethics in Professional Planning Practice (Part 2): Navigating Our Ethical Oblications - Jane Jacobs' Systems of Survival' Plan Canada, Fall 2013, 38-43.

'Exploring Inter-Being and Inter-Becoming - as Ethos-Making: The Integrally-Informed Pursuit of Professional Community Wellbeing' Journal of Integral Theory and Practice 8 (3-4), 82-96 (2013).

'The nature of planning professionalism through the eyes of students on work experience', with Johannes Pieters and Jon Kellett, Planning Education track paper presentation, AESOP 2014, Utrecht.

'Enabling Professional-Self Design: Education for Praxis, Ethos and Poiesis', 2nd annual AAE conference (2014), Living and Learning, Conference Proceedings, pp 100 - 104 (Sheffield, UK).