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Peter Whitelaw

Peter Whitelaw

Senior Planner

Peter leads the Smart Growth, Smart Cities program for Renewable Cities at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. 

Peter has more than 20 years of experience in environmental management and community sustainability. He brings an unusual combination of expertise to the role, including policy and regulatory expertise, strategic planning, business and change management, and long-term and systems thinking approaches.   

Peter moved to Renewable Cities from the City of Richmond, where he led regional policy analysis and housing policy projects. Before that, he worked for 14 years in progressively senior consulting roles, eventually as co-owner, management lead and sustainability service lead for MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement. His greatest passion is defining and then driving strategy to create long-term, shared value for colleagues, organizations and communities. 

Peter has a record of pushing the envelope in long-range strategic planning, zoning, development guidelines, and sustainable development strategies. Examples include co-creating the SCORE Neighbourhood Sustainability Assessment, delivery of one of Canada’s first municipal applications of Scenario Planning, and development of a novel “Impact Model” linking a business model with sustainability impacts. Peter was the lead consultant for a “Sustainable Built Environment” initiative that applied a systems and change lens to understand barriers to community sustainability in BC and prioritize interventions. 

Peter’s favorite urban journey is anywhere on a bike, where you’ll find him feeling the wind in his face, getting a workout and exploring the region’s beauty. 

 “In order to open the space for transformation, we have to change how we think and fundamentally who we perceive ourselves to be.” – Christina Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac in The Future We Choose: The stubborn optimist’s guide to the climate crisis 

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