The School of Community and Regional Planning has a rich history as one of the first dedicated planning schools in Canada and the first planning school in North America to be specifically focused on sustainability through its mission statement.  The following is a brief chronology of key events in the school's history.

Click the chart below for a larger visual history, or read below for a more narrative chronicle.

SCARP Timeline

1951The School is opened. Dr. Peter Oberlander is appointed Director.

H. Peter Oberlander

1958First three Master's students graduate
1968First doctoral student admitted
1970SCARP first accredited by U.S. Planning Accreditation Board
1971First doctoral student graduates

Brahm Wiesman


Brahm Wiesman becomes Director of the School

1988Alan Artibise becomes Director of the School
1994William Rees becomes Director of the School

SCARP adopts Sustainability Mission statement:
To advance the transition to sustainability through excellence in integrated policy and planning research, professional education and community service

1995Student Curriculum Report: Planning for the 21st Century 
1996Draft Proposals for Revising the Master's Degree Program 
1997Student Report: What Do Canadian and American Planning Schools Say They Do? 
1999Re-Accreditation Reviews by U.S. Planning Accreditation Board and Canadian Institute of Planners; reports 
1999Tony Dorcey becomes Director of the School 
1999School Management Committee established - faculty, staff and student representatives meet monthly 
1999SCARP web site provides details of degree programs and courses 
2000Canadian Association of Planning Students (CAPS) annual conference organized by SCARP students 
2000Introduction of annual community-based planning course in interior of B.C. - Royston on Vancouver Island - wins PIBC Honourable Mention 
2001SCARP students engage campus sustainability and development 
2001PlanTalk introduced, a downtown series of discussions organized by PIBC Lower Mainland Chapter and SCARP students 
2001Professional Research Project introduced as alternative to Master's Thesis 
2002SCARP faculty first post statements of their individual Perspectives on Sustainability Planning 
2002Planning Education for All Seasons: Integration and Diversity in Theory and Practice - a workshop with planning academics and practitioners from across Canada, convened as one of the School's 50th anniversary events 
2002West Mall Annex renovated and the Centre for Human Settlements (CHS) relocates from the other side of the campus 
2003Review of SCARP's Quantitative and Analytical Courses 
2003SCARP launches the first bi-annual, week-long North American PhD Student Jamboree 
2004Re-Accreditation reviews by U.S. Planning Accreditation Board and Canadian Institute of Planners 
2005Master's curriculum review report; and School discussion of report 
2006SCARP Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Overview Prepared for Search for a New Director 
2006SCARP receives the 2005-2006 Peter Larkin Award, which is granted to a UBC graduate program for contributions to student development in honour of Dr. Larkin’s commitment and passion for teaching and graduate education 
2006Planners for Tomorrow organized by SCARP students as CAPS annual conference and to coincide with the World Urban Forum in Vancouver. Report: Planners for Tomorrow (P4T): Student Perspectives on the Future of Planning in Canada 
2006Leonie Sandercock becomes Director of the School 
2007School faculty retreat reaffirms SCARP mission statement and goals; also decides to rejuvenate the Centre for Human Settlements with a new mission, focusing on research and engagement addressing an urban world in sustainability crisis 
2007Penny Gurstein becomes Acting Director of the School 
2008Penny Gurstein becomes Director of the School and announces development of strategic plan.
2010SCARP celebrates its 60th Anniversary 
2012SCARP moves its administrative home to the Faculty of Applied Science 
2012Indigenous Community Planning Specialization starts at SCARP 
2015Master of Community and Regional Planning degree program commences 
201665th Anniversary project: a timeline mapping SCARP's history from its beginnings 

Part of our Heritage

The Centre for Human Settlements

The Centre for Human Settlements was a unit within SCARP. It involved faculty and student associates from various departments at UBC in multidisciplinary research and capacity-building programs related to regional, urban, and community development. CHS' many publications disseminated the results of its research and reported on its training and consultancy activities. In 1990, CHS was named a "Centre of Excellence" in human settlements planning by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The Centre was first created as a legacy of the 1976 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT) that was held in Vancouver and resulted in the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements. CHS originally housed the collection of audio video presentations by each participating nation in the HABITAT Conference.

In the early 1990s, the entire collection was deposited in UBC's Archives.

People involved:
  • Thomas Hutton, Professor & Associate Director, SCARP for CHS
  • Penny Gurstein, Professor and Director, SCARP
  • Leonora Angeles, Associate Professor
  • Peter Boothroyd, Professor Emeritus
  • Stephanie Chang, Professor
  • Tony Dorcey, Professor
  • Lawrence Frank, Professor & J. Armand Bombardier Chair in Sustainable Urban Transportation Systems
  • John Friedmann, Honorary Professor
  • Michael Leaf, Associate Professor & Chair of Masters Program, SCARP
  • Timothy McDaniels, Professor
  • William Rees, Professor
  • Leonie Sandercock, Professor & Chair of PhD Program, SCARP
  • Maged Senbel, Assistant Professor
  • Mark Stevens, Assistant Professor
  • Erika de Castro, Project Manager, Habitat Exchange
  • Andrea Procyk, Project Coordinator, Bombardier Active Transportation Lab
Research clusters:
  • Active Transportation Lab Projects
  • Climate Justice Project
  • Developing a conceptual framework for understanding provincial legislative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in BC
  • Evaluating the Quality of Official Community Plans in Southern British Columbia: Are Municipalities Prepared to Promote Sustainable Development Patterns
  • Habitat Exchange
  • Informality Governance in Peri-Urban SE Asia
  • NEWPATH: Built environment influences on diet, physical activity, and obesity: a transdisciplinary approach
  • Systems under stress: An investigation of community resilience to natural disasters
  • Analyzing Infrastructures for Disaster-Resilient Communities
  • Asian Urban Research Network
  • Community Based Watershed Management in Santo André, S.P., Brazil
  • Education for Democratic Planning in Sri Lanka
  • EMERGENCE: Education and Mapping of Employment Relocation in a Global Economy in the New Communications Environment
  • Gender and Development Network
  • Government Responses to Poverty and Income Inequality and their Effects on Children and Families
  • Hanoi Authority for Planning and Investment
  • Localized Poverty Reduction in Vietnam
  • Mitigation of Extreme Event Risk: The Case of Electric Power
  • Multi-level Governance in Canada: the Vancouver Essay
  • New Public Consortia for Metropolitan Governance, Brazil (NPC Project)
  • Neighbourhood Planning in Quanzhou, Fujian, China
  • Project for Promoting Participatory Budgeting in Canada: Building Community Capacity for Deliberative Local Governance in the Greater Vancouver Region
  • Social dynamics of economic performance: Innovation and creativity in city-regions
  • Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Beijing-Tianjin Region, China
  • The role of Coastal Ecosystem Degradation in Tsunami Damage
Newsbytes provides information on SCARP since its first publication in 2000. It is the web-based successor to The Garden City News that was published every Monday morning during term by the School's longtime Administrator, Bonnie Schoenberger.