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About Planning

Good planning is the key to building great communities.

It’s the informed thinking that is needed to plan successful and livable urban, suburban, and rural communities while balancing short-term and long-term public needs over the next two, 10, or 30 years. This includes considering where people live, work, go to school, and spend their free time.

RPPs understand how to use space effectively and how elements like road networks, parks, and walkways work together to get people from their homes to their destinations in a thoughtful manner.
Well planned communities ensure important resources like schools, hospitals, day cares, libraries, farmland, shops, and other services are planned for and are ready to welcome residents as communities grow.

Good planning is guided by public interest, and results in well-planned and enjoyable communities that have the amenities people need. These communities contribute to wellbeing, and to long-term societal goals like housing affordability, increasing economic activity, and fighting climate change.

What does an RPP do?

Registered Professional Planners (RPPs) are the professionals that help deliver great communities. RPPs ensure anything that’s built aligns with the planning goals set out by the province and municipalities. They accomplish this through both broad strategic work that includes planning reports, comprehensive studies, and official plan and zoning by-law updates as well as through more targeted work like development applications for individual projects.
RPPs help deliver great communities by acting as coordinators between residents, the municipality, the developer, and related professional fields like engineers, architects, and conservation agencies. RPPs consider a range of issues including population growth, environmental impacts, and healthcare resources when planning communities.   

RPPs have the expertise needed to consider every individual planning application against the larger 30-year vision for a community. They are the hub of the planning process and balance the needs with the interests of the community.

RPPs can specialize in a range of areas within the planning profession including environmental, transportation, resource, heritage, and land-use planning. RPPs can work in the private sector or in the public sector. In both cases, RPPs make informed recommendations about long-term planning strategies and individual development projects based on their expertise, the comments from other professionals involved in the planning process, and feedback they gather from the community. Planners in both the private and public sector act in the best interest of the public and in alignment with planning legislation created by the province and municipalities. RPPs help guide the development of policies that support the creation of great communities that are built in the public interest.

As part of their daily work, private sector RPPs are often hired by developers to prepare planning applications or by municipalities to conduct studies or make broader updates to municipal planning policies. In both cases RPPs balance the goals of the developer or the municipality with the needs of the community. Private sector RPPs help developers create proposals that align with local long-term planning goals, deliver on immediate needs in the community, and that contain all the information necessary for municipalities to review the application. When RPPs aren’t involved in this work or consulted, developers could submit incomplete applications or applications that don’t conform with what municipalities are looking for, which results in delays and longer processing times.

Public sector RPPs or RPPs who work within municipal planning departments, are the people who receive and review planning applications submitted by developers to ensure they are complete and that they achieve the goals set out by the municipality. They then share the application with the various municipal and provincial departments that are involved in the planning process for their comments on the application. This includes engineers, conservation agencies, transportation departments, water and waste management departments, the local Councillor, the community, and many others. RPPs are responsible for ensuring all feedback is gathered and considered before they make a professional recommendation to municipal Councils that then make the final decision on each application. Municipal RPPs are also responsible for completing long-term planning initiatives like updating Official Plans and Zoning Bylaws, completing planning studies, and drafting new planning policies.

Why become an RPP?

Becoming an RPP takes three to seven years to complete on top of a university planning degree from an institution recognized by the Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB). Only full OPPI members are authorized by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Act, 1994, to use the title Registered Professional Planner (RPP).

After undergoing rigorous training RPPs are equipped to pursue a fruitful career in planning that could involve many diverse opportunities such as working as a community planner, transportation planner, environmental planner, policy advisor, municipal planner, or a heritage planner.

RPPs have a critical role in creating great communities in rural, urban, or suburban areas. They gather feedback from all members of the community and ensure livable communities are created with consideration of the public’s current and future needs.

Why hire an RPP?

Registered Professional Planners (RPPs) are accredited planners who have completed years of rigorous training and who are bound by professional standards and a code of ethics. Hiring an RPP comes with the added confidence of hiring a well-trained, objective, and experienced planner who is part of a valuable network of RPPs across the province.

RPPs ensure development projects consider the long-term and short-term needs of evolving communities. RPPs focus on the public’s future interests and have a positive impact on a community’s long-term quality of life.