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Vancouver appoints suburban director of development as newly created “general manager of planning and development” for city

July 24th, 2012 · 3 Comments

City news release here, which Bill Lee kindly posted in a previous thread as I was crazy busy (plus he included a bunch of tweets). My story in the Globe, with assessments from various people in and out of B.C., will be up on the website later.

The City of Vancouver has appointed Brian J. Jackson as the new General Manager, Planning and Development role following an international search. This senior leadership role encompasses the Director of Planning’s statutory responsibilities. Brian will join the City on August 27, 2012.


Brian brings 32 years of planning experience in the public and private sector across North America to his new role. For the last four years, he has been the Director of Development and more recently the Acting General Manager of Planning and Development for Richmond B.C.



During his career in California, Nevada, Ontario and B.C., Brian has led a significant number of large, complex land-use planning initiatives, many of which align with the key priorities of the City of Vancouver – affordable housing, transit oriented development, economic development, and the design of sustainable, vibrant communities. More importantly, he has a strong track record engaging and partnering with the community.


In the 1990’s, as the Manager of Waterfront Planning for the City of Toronto,  Brian played a leadership role in the planning and revitalization of a significant portion of Toronto’s Central Waterfront.


Over the seven years he coordinated the planning policy and development applications for Toronto’s waterfront, which continues to evolve, he oversaw the review of development applications representing over 10,000 residential units and five million square feet of office space. The streets, buildings, parks and public art that have reenergized the waterfront have earned more than 40 regional, national and international awards.


From 1998 to 2008, Brian worked as a senior associate for IBI Group and was responsible for planning projects across North America. As project manager for the San Gabriel Valley Growth Visioning study, an effort involving 31 communities, he was responsible for supporting and enabling local governments to work together to identify key growth opportunities for their region.


From 2005 to 2008, he managed the Metro Gold Line Transit-Oriented Development project, a transit oriented development plan encompassing 11 unique communities from Pasadena to Montclair, California (total population over three million).


During his past four years in Richmond, Brian has led planning, developer negotiations and development approvals for this growing community. In 2012 for example, he oversaw applications worth over $4 billion in construction value, including hotels, retail, office and over 12,000 residential units. In Richmond, he has had a major role working with the non-profit sector in the creation of more than 520 affordable housing units.


Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Geography and a Masters of Arts in Community and Regional Planning, both from the University of British Columbia.


The City undertook a broad international search for this new leadership position. This new role will ensure effective integration of planning issues across the whole city mandate and provide a more coherent approach for all land use planning in Vancouver.  The City looks forward to having Brian Jackson take on this key strategic leadership role in Planning and Development Services.




Mayor Gregor Robertson


“We are very pleased Brian Jackson has agreed to join the City team to take on this key leadership role in planning and development services,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Brian brings to this role his 32 years of senior planning experience across North America, in both the private and public sector, along with specific skills in the areas of priority for our Council, like affordability, transit-oriented development, and community consultation. He is keenly aware of the challenges we face and we look forward to him working with our local neighbourhoods, businesses and not-for-profit communities to implement our vision for the future of Vancouver.”


Penny Ballem, City Manager


“I am delighted to welcome Brian to this new, senior leadership role in the City of Vancouver,” City Manager Penny Ballem said. “Brian will be a great addition to our senior team, and his broad experience and strong track record in building relationships with community and the many partners who work with us in the planning and development services will be a great asset.


“After an international search that attracted 108 applications, Brian Jackson, with his regional, national and international experience in key priority areas for the city was the unanimous choice of the search committee.”


Brenda Plant, Executive Director, Turning Point Recovery Society


“The appointment of Brian Jackson is great news for Vancouver,” said Brenda Plant, Executive Director, Turning Point Recovery Society. “I have worked with Brian for many years in the area of affordable housing and have been very impressed by his vision, commitment, determination and ability to get things done. He has found ways to provide people with housing when they didn’t have much hope left.


“Brian turns adversity into opportunity and he makes things happen. He will make a strong contribution to Vancouver and its future.”


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