Vancouver’s new city planner brings urban U.S. West Coast experience

Gil Kelley formerly held municipal planning roles in San Francisco and Portland 

Gil Kelley, the City of Vancouver’s new chief planner and general manager of the newly created Department of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability, is scheduled to start in his new role on September 15 | Submitted   

The City of Vancouver’s new chief planner and general manager of the newly created Department of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability is bringing a wealth of West Coast city development knowledge to the position.

Gil Kelley, who is scheduled to start in his new role on September 15, was recently the director of citywide planning for the City of San Francisco. In that role, he helped spearhead a new transportation plan. Kelley also worked on projects to preserve and develop affordable housing in the bay area and strategies to address the impact of rising sea levels.

Prior to his work in San Francisco, Kelley was the director of planning for the City of Portland for a decade where he worked on a number of master plans. Kelley noted in a release that he wants to “double-down” on Vancouver’s reputation as one of the world’s most livable and sustainable cities.

Following Brian Jackson’s retirement last November as general manager for Planning and Development Services, the city decided to create a senior position to lead the Vancouver’s planning and development services portfolio.

Jackson encountered controversy during his three-year tenure at the helm, including accusations of “approvals which ignore long held planning values” as noted in an April 2015 open letter to mayor and council from some former and current planners and architects.