Ontario’s Planners Gather to Plan for Critical Issues that Challenge Province’s Future

Ontario’s RPPs explore topics that reach beyond borders now and over the next quarter century to provide a path forward to guide Ontario

TORONTO, Oct. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) kicks off its 2019 Conference (OPPI19: Beyond25) from October 1-3 at the Beanfield Centre in the City of Toronto to discuss the critical issues that reach beyond borders and impact communities today and for the next quarter century – uneven growth, climate change and technology – while honouring the 25th anniversary of the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation in Ontario.

Kicking off OPPI19: Beyond25 is City of Toronto Chief Planner, Gregg Lintern, RPP, MCIP, on the challenge and opportunity of uneven growth. Toronto welcomes 40,000 new residents every year on average, including 77,000 in the last year alone, and the Greater Toronto Area is expected to grow to nearly 10 million people by 2041. However, this unprecedented growth has not been experienced evenly across the city or region and this unevenness is a feature of the provincial growth picture as well.

“This year, while we mark the 25th anniversary of the RPP designation, instead of looking back, we are asking our members to face change head on and find a way to guide Ontario forward over the next quarter century in the areas of uneven growth, climate change and technology,” says OPPI President, Jason Ferrigan, RPP. “Our membership is gathering in Toronto this year to work through some of the biggest challenges and opportunities Ontario faces, so our RPPs are equipped with the knowledge needed to inform choices being made in their communities.”

The OPPI19: Beyond25 program offers attendees over 100 interactive training sessions and mobile workshops relating to these critical issues, arming RPPs with information and examples they can take back to their communities. In addition, to further examine these critical areas, OPPI is pleased to announce our keynote speakers for each day:

  • Day 1 (October 1) - City of Toronto Chief Planner, Gregg Lintern, RPP, MCIP, speaks on “The Challenge and Opportunity of Uneven Growth.” Planning and implementing a form of city that responds more directly to the lenses of affordability, mobility and resilience – you might call them collective values – is already part of Toronto's "story," even as people's experiences with growth vary greatly. Consistently connecting these values to our actions will help us soften the edges of growth right now while keeping planners accountable to future citizens.
  • Day 2 (October 2) - Writer, producer and digital journalist, Ramona Pringle, speaks on the topic of “Surviving and Thriving in an Era of Disruption.” The world is changing quickly. Almost half of the human workforce is predicted to be displaced by robotics and artificial intelligence over the coming decades, with automation reaching into sectors once thought to be safe from disruption, including medicine, the financial sector and journalism. The World Economic Forum states that 65% of kids entering school today will work in jobs that don’t currently exist. So how do we plan for a future that can be hard to predict? Ramona will offer tools for staying ahead of that change, as communities continue to be transformed by technology.
  • Day 3 (October 3) - Host of TVO’s The Life-Sized City, Mikael Colville-Andersen speaks on the topic of “Planning and Leadership in the Age of Urbanism.” We are thinking differently about cities for the first time in a century. All around the world there is an exciting energy about urbanism and cities are moving fast to adapt to both new and timeless ideas. Citizens have regained their voice and are leading the way towards urban change on their street, in their neighbourhood and in their cities. Mikael will present his take on the necessary elements that cities - large and small - need to equip themselves for inevitable urban change.

“From our keynote speakers to our student members, our exciting program will challenge our RPPs to really think about how they can inspire their local communities in addressing the challenges we face together,” said OPPI Executive Director, Mary Ann Rangam. “It’s important for the planning profession in Ontario to gather yearly and discuss the issues that affect everyone, so they can inspire communities across Ontario.”

At OPPI19: Beyond25, OPPI honours the 25th anniversary of the RPP designation. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to introduce legislation, the Ontario Professional Planners Act, that protects the RPP designation. RPPs are the experts and the professionals specifically educated, trained and ethically committed to informing and guiding the choices made by elected officials, decision-makers and the public to inspire communities across Ontario in the public interest.

RPPs from across Ontario will gather for the three-day event to participate in forums to work through critical issues and case studies, gain feedback from peers and present their work, best practices and research. The information shared will inform work taking place across Ontario. OPPI19: Beyond25 is the biggest annual educational and networking event for professional planners in Ontario. For more information on OPPI’s 2019 Conference, please visit our website, ontarioplanners.ca.

About the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI)
OPPI is the recognized voice of the Province’s planning profession. Our almost 4,000 members work in government, private practice, universities, and not-for-profit agencies in the fields of urban and rural development, community design, environmental planning, transportation, health, social services, heritage conservation, housing, and economic development. Members meet quality practice requirements and are accountable to OPPI and the public to practice ethically and to abide by a Professional Code of Practice. Only Full Members are authorized by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Act, 1994, to use the title “Registered Professional Planner” (or “RPP”).

For more information, please contact: 
Rob Kirsic, Communications and Marketing Manager
416-668-8469 (mobile) or r.kirsic@ontarioplanners.ca

A backgrounder is available here: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d86a4b0f-2b3a-4409-b918-e2f65a216a22


OPPI Backgrounder 2019 Conference