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City of Vancouver appoints new general manager of planning, urban design and sustainability

City of Vancouver appoints new general manager of planning, urban design and sustainability

VANCOUVER – The City of Vancouver has appointed Josh White as its new general manager of planning, urban design and sustainability (PDS).

Most recently White was director of city and regional planning and co-chief planner at the City of Calgary where he facilitated adoption of a new housing strategy and led a push for simpler and more effective planning policy and regulation, a City of Vancouver release stated.

“Josh has a wealth of experience leading innovative change in the urban planning realm across Canada, and a strong record of responding to the many challenges facing growing cities today. I’m thrilled to have him on board to lead PDS as we continue to implement council’s agenda as it relates to streamlining land-use permitting, housing delivery, affordability and sustainability in Vancouver,” said Vancouver city manager Paul Mochrie in the release.

While in Calgary White also initiated and led a transformation of the development approvals system resulting in improved planning outcomes, benchmarked as among the most efficient in Canada. He also served as senior policy adviser to former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi from 2010 to 2015.

“Vancouver is experiencing tremendous growth, and I’m committed to leading the city in managing this growth, as it continues its transformation and standing as one of the world’s most livable, sustainable and inclusive cities. I look forward to leading and collaborating with such a forward-thinking team of staff, stakeholders and partners to tackle the challenges that confront Vancouver, particularly facilitating more housing supply and improving affordability,” White said.

White holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Queen’s University and began his career in the private sector, serving a variety of private and public sector clients as a consultant with Urban Strategies in Toronto. His private sector experience also includes leading planning and approvals for Alpine Park, a new community development in Calgary.

White will start in Vancouver on May 1 in his role as general manager and will lead overall operation, administration and policy related aspects of the department, the release said. Doug Smith, who has been acting general manager during the recruitment process, will return to the role of deputy general manager, PDS.

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