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Pacific Canada  + Canada  + Multi-residential Housing  | 
Vancouver's chief planner has departed suddenly from her position.

Vancouver Hires New Planning GM

The City of Vancouver has hired a new general manager of planning, development and sustainability.

Josh White will start his new position May 1. He moves to Vancouver from the City of Calgary, where he served as co-chief planner as well as the director of city and regional planning.

During his time in Calgary, he has been credited with transforming the city’s development approvals system, which resulted in improved planning outcomes, benchmarked as among the most efficient in Canada, according to a City of Vancouver news release.

White has served two stints with the City of Calgary. From 2010 to 2015, he was a senior policy advisor to then-mayor Naheed Nenshi before spending four years in planning and development positions with Dream Unlimited in Calgary. He also worked as planner for two years with Urban Strategies in Toronto.

White’s appointment comes after Vancouver planning director Theresa O’Donnell’s departed suddenly from her position in fall 2023. City officials have declined to discuss the reasons for her departure.

Once White assumes his new post, acting general manager Doug Smith will return to his deputy GM of planning, development and sustainability role.

Matt Shillito will continue to serve as acting director of planning, reporting to council in accordance with regulatory guidelines. He is expected to collaborate on the position with White.

Shillito’s duties as interim planning director include overseeing rezoning enquiries and applications,  and development permits.


Inside The Story

Josh WhiteCity of Vancouver

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

  • ◦Development
  • ◦Financing
  • ◦Policy/Gov't
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