Q&A: How Ottawa bungled its plan for a new monument-Macleans

In conversation with urban design guru Larry Beasley on the lessons we can learn from Ottawa’s plans for the victims of communism memorial

Q&A: How Ottawa bungled its plan for a new monument

By John Geddes


Check out Larry Beasley’s interview with Property Biz Canada

By David Allison:

Uber-urban-planner Larry Beasley writes book

“After decades as one of the most high-profile urban planners on the planet, Larry Beasley — retired chief planner for the City of Vancouver, professor and global city-planning consultant —  along with co-author Jonathan Burnett, have written a call-to-arms for cities and suburbs.”

“Their book, Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs tackles the two most pressing issues facing our industry: how to build/rethink where we live so that we are making places that are both environmentally sensitive and livable. It is both practical and fascinating.”

David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting version of any story for early stakeholder engagement, internal audiences, regulatory approvals, consultant briefings and investor recruitment. His award-winning work in the real estate sector alone spans decades and continents. His most recent book, The Stackable Boomer, examines the movement of baby boomers to multi-family homes, and includes research results from a 1,000-boomer survey. He can be reached at david@davidallisoninc.com and on LinkedIN

About Beasley & Associates


Upon his retirement from local government in 2006, Larry Beasley established a small planning consultancy specializing in quality urbanism.  The firm provides advice to governments and the development community on projects and initiatives at the scale of entire city plans to neighbourhood schemes to specific site developments.  The firm is based in Vancouver, B.C.,  but does work throughout the world, with extensive experience in Canada, the Unites States and the Middle East.

The foundation of Beasley and Associates is Larry Beasley’s long and primary involvement in the transformation of Vancouver into one of the world’s most pleasant and beloved cities.  He led efforts in neighbourhood revitalization, new community development, downtown revival, heritage preservation, transportation planning, transit-oriented area planning and development evaluation that put Vancouver at the cutting edge of planning practice in the world.  In private practice, Beasley went on to found a robust and innovative planning service in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and an extensive urban design practice within the local government of Dallas, Texas.  For three years he was the planning director of a large Canadian development company, Aquilini Development Ltd.  He is also a professor of planning at the University of British Columbia.  Because of this diversity of activity, Beasley and Associates offers its clients a unique, holistic perspective in addressing problems and opportunities of the environment and the city.

Beasley’s planning emphasizes the “city by design”, with a focus on sustainable, liveable and appealing urbanism.  His team has particular expertise in higher density, mixed use, inner city development and is developing a special interest in mid-sized cities.  They provide advice on urban design, policy planning, advanced systems of development regulation and management and related tools that incentivize preferred urban forms and garner public goods.  Beasley also specializes in group facilitation and interest-based problem solving.  Producing charettes to engage interested parties and experts in expedited planning is a related specialty.

Beasley and Associates generally works in consortium with larger planning, architecture and landscape architecture firms, providing special expertize and leadership, and emphasizing top quality production.

Larry Beasley- Founding Principal


  LBB.BAPWebsitePortrait. by Marina Dodis

Photo Credit: Marina Dodis

LARRY BEASLEY is the retired Co-director of Planner for the City of Vancouver.  He is now the founding principal of Beasley and Associates, an international planning and urban design consultancy and the “Distinguished Practice Professor of Planning” at the University of British Columbia. He is a Registered Professional Planner in Canada.

After more than thirty years of civic service in which he led the planning and development management that transformed the inner city of Vancouver, Larry Beasley now teaches and advises on urbanism around the world.  He chairs the ‘National Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty’ of Ottawa’s National Capital Commission; he is Senior Advisor on Urban Design in Dallas, Texas; and he is a member of the International Economic Development Advisory Board of Rotterdam in The Netherlands.    Through selected projects, he continues his long service as the Special Advisor on City Planning to the Government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where he helped to found the Urban Planning Council, one of the most progressive planning agencies in the Middle East, and led the design of a number of cities and towns, including a new national capital.  For several years, he was a vice-president at Aquilini Developments. Recent notable work includes: completion of an award-winning plan for the expansion of Moscow in Russia, including the design of a new national government precinct; completion of an influential strategic organizational plan for the Toronto Planning Department; curation of an international design competition in Dallas for the integration of downtown and its river; update of the first Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan from 2006; and, rethink of a freeway scheme in Dallas to become a gracious and harmonious parkway.

Initially studying architecture, Larry Beasley has Degrees in Geography and Political Science (BA) and Planning (MA).  He has also been awarded two Honorary Doctorate Degrees (Hon LLD), from Simon Fraser University and Dalhousie University.  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, an Honorary Member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and has been recognized as an “Advocate for Architecture” by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.  In 2007, he received the Kevin Lynch Prize from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Dallas Institute and sits on the Board of the Canadian Urban Institute.

Larry Beasley is a Member of the Order of Canada.  He has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

His book, Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs, authored with Jonathan Barnett, is available from Island Press. His second book, Vancouverism, from UBC Press, will be out in early-2019.

Sandy Logan- Principal Associate


WILLIAM (SANDY) LOGAN is the principal associate of Beasley and Associates, an international planning and urban design consultancy.  He is a Senior Project Manager with expertise in human and health services, community planning, organizational change and development, business and personal coaching and group facilitation.

As a seasoned professional, Sandy Logan has over three decades of experience in project management in the public and private sectors. For many years as a senior manager in the Government of British Columbia, he was responsible for the development and implementation of two of the largest computer systems used by the provincial government.  These systems reorganized the delivery of human services for a significant portion of the public in the Province and significantly and permanently impacted the job responsibilities of thousands of employees.  Then, Sandy Logan was employed, for seven years, by IBM Canada as a senior consultant in the Human Services Global Practice Team. Fulfilling this role involved consulting with the leadership of a number of governments in the Western world. Sandy was IBM’s Project Manager on a number of government undertakings involving significant organizational change. He was a member of IBM’s team responsible for project risk assessment and mitigation. This included the renegotiation of troubled projects.

For the past several years with Beasley and Associates, Sandy Logan has worked internationally on large urban design and urban planning projects.  These included the following key projects.

Abu Dhabi – From 2006 through 2011, Sandy Logan was the Project Manager for the multi-disciplinary planning and production team convened by Beasley and Associates (including Civitas and Perkins+Will Canada)  responsible for the development of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan, the Al Ain 2030 Plan, the Al Gharbia 2030 Plan and the Al Ain Region 2030 Plan. He was intimately involved with all phases of these 2030 Plans – from inception, through development, completion and delivery. During this time he organized and managed the complex logistics of major charettes and the various workshops that were fundamental to the success of these 2030 plans. He was the lead customer contact.  He served as the health and community services expert at the charettes. He was also the Project Manager for the Capital Cities workshop that was the genesis of the Capital City District Master Plan. He was the Project Manager for The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s Public Art project. This entailed the organization of a large public art charette and subsequent consultation with the Sheikha Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation – the sponsor of this project. He introduced IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative to Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council and continues to be involved with IBM’s Smarter Cities team.

Dallas – Sandy Logan is playing a major leadership role in a program to fully integrate leading urban design practices into all functions of the local government as well as the development community.

Toronto – Sandy Logan played a key and extensive role in several recent projects. This included development of the City Planning Division’s Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018.  This Plan has won wide-spread acclaim and has been used to fundamentally re-orient the way the department works internally and externally in a very challenging and demanding environment.  In a separate assignment, he co-facilitated a ground-breaking accord for a significant waterfront development between the local government and Pinnacle International, a large Canadian development group.

Moscow – Sandy Logan was part of a multi-disciplinary planning and urban design team (including Urban Design Associates, Gillespie’s, John Thompson and Partners, Beasley and Associates) that developed a competition winning plan for the expansion of the city and a new National Capital District for the Russian Federation.
Sandy Logan has also provided separate professional services for key Vancouver projects.

University of British Columbia – He recently co-led the development of a strategic directions plan for the university’s Campus and Community Planning Group.

The Rennie Group – For the past seven years, he has provided organizational change and development advice to this group, which is one of the leading condominium sales, marketing and design firms in North America.  In addition he has been coaching the future leadership of the Rennie Group of Companies in preparation for a full turnover of the management structure and organization.

Sandy Logan has a degree in Psychology and Political Sciences (BA) and has had extensive complimentary training and education.