As planners it is important we understand how the plans we create and implement have a real impact on both property owners and municipalities who rely on accurate property assessments to generate tax revenues. By virtue of their nature, planning policies, which regulate or restrict land uses, have the potential to drastically influence the value of properties.
Planners spend their days dealing with complex problems: from designing place-based communities, to creating effective transportation systems, and to creating housing opportunities for all. We know we need to collaborate widely and effectively across the urban system. How might we harness our understanding of the people we serve to develop collaborative methods for solving these problems together? 

Do Cities Impact our Mental Health?

January 08, 2018 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by David Stinson, RPP | Community Design, Mental Health
On Thursday, 7th of September 2017, CBC interviewed Professor Nicholas Rose from King’s College, U.K. on his sociological studies for an upcoming Mental Health and the Mega-city workshop in Switzerland. Professor Rose discussed the apparent link between higher rates of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia and city life. There were no definitive answers on causes: noise, congestion, smells, wealth gaps, social exclusion, limited access to nature, etc., except for the subjective experience of stress.

How to Start a Mentorship Program at Work

October 02, 2017 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Brett Sears, RPP | Management and Leadership, Mentorship
The Transportation Planning Department of MMM Group (now WSP) established a mentorship program in 2016 in response to a strategic visioning exercise that identified mentorship as a staff need. A Mentorship Committee designed the initial program and guided it to the conclusion of the first year. Minor adjustments enhanced the program for its second year. This article summarizes the steps taken to establish the program and the lessons learned from its first year. 
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