New planning degree opens doors to homegrown urban planners – UFV Today

For years, municipal governments in the Fraser Valley have been bringing in urban planners from outside the region because locals almost never have the required education. But that’s about to change as UFV launches a new Bachelor of Regional and Community Planning program.

“With all the challenges in the Fraser Valley, and globally, from climate change to transportation to food systems to housing, I believe a regionally focused planning program is really exciting,” says Cherie Enns, lead on the program development.

(The former School of Land Use and Environmental Studies has shifted into two departments: Geoscience, with Steve Marsh as department head, and Planning, Geography, and Environmental Studies, headed by Associate Professor, Afia Raja.)

Urban planners are hired by every regional district, every city and municipality, and electoral region. Enns says that right now, all are trained outside the region, even outside the country. She says UFV graduates will change that dynamic. They’ll bring “local knowledge” to the job and be more likely to stay in the eastern Fraser Valley as their careers unfold.