Planner III – Environment & Sustainability (Board of Parks & Recreation) (Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada)

Requisition ID: 22993 


The City of Vancouver is striving to become the greenest city in the world, and a city powered entirely by renewable energy before 2050. We are proud to be one of BC’s Top Employers, Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, and one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. With employees that have helped Vancouver consistently rank as one of the world’s most livable cities, the City values a diverse workforce which represents the vibrant community we so proudly serve.

Consider joining our committed team of staff and being part of an innovative, inclusive and rewarding workplace.

Main Purpose and Function

This is a senior professional position reporting to the Manager of Planning to supervise staff developing and implementing policies, strategies, and projects on environment and sustainability. This includes implementing the Park Board’s long-term vision developed as part of the Park Board’s Biodiversity Strategy and Parks and Recreation Services Master Plan (VanPlay) to build an ecological network that supports nature across the city, as well as short-term actions and projects as part of park development. This work includes capital planning, budget management, and strategic decision making.

A critical role of Senior Environment and Sustainability Planner is to translate the science and best practice of urban environmental management into the mandate of the Park Board in managing a large and complex urban park system. Understanding of the experiential or social side of biodiversity is as important as understanding federal and provincial regulations. Improving access to nature for Vancouver’s residents and visitors is an essential goal of the Park Board.

The work involves understanding complex park, environmental, and urban issues and will be carried out in consultation with internal and external stakeholders including other City departments, governments and agencies, community residents, stewardship groups, stakeholders, landowners and business interests. The Senior Environment and Sustainability Planner will exercise independent judgment in scoping and conceptualizing plans and projects, developing and managing work programs, planning and implementing public processes, and managing staff and consultants. The position also provides advice to all business areas of the Park Board for interpretation of and processes for approval and permits under various provincial and federal regulations, legislation, and acts pertaining to the environment and wildlife.

Specific Duties/Responsibilities

  • Supervises, develops, and manages work programs of a staff team to advance the Park Board’s city-wide environment and sustainability planning;
  • Develops and implements innovative Park Board policies to enhance environmental and sustainability goals through-out the park system;
  • Aligns strategic planning efforts between the Park Board and the City of Vancouver including the Greenest City Action Plan and related corporate goals;
  • Represents the Park Board on city-wide or regional planning teams to address sea-level rise, urban forest management, and other sustainability topics;
  • Supports the Park Board’s planning and development teams in implementing environmental and sustainability goals as part of park acquisition, park planning, and park development;
  • Supports operational activities across the Park Board including regulatory requirements, urban wildlife management, water conservation, water quality, invasive species management, and species at risk recovery;
  • Supports environmental stewardship, education, and research;
  • Develops and updates strategies and policies as they relate to emerging priorities, regulatory changes, park use trends, land-use and demographic changes; and, maintains a high level of internal and external communication on environment and sustainability issues including reporting to the senior staff, the elected Park Board, and informing the public;  
  • Writes reports, presentations to Park Board Senior Leadership Team, Corporate Management, Park Board, City Council, other governments and agencies;
  • Represents the City and Park Board to outside agencies such as Metro Vancouver and the Provincial government.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Education and Experience:

  • A university graduate degree in biology, environmental planning, landscape architecture, or a related discipline with extensive and progressive municipal experience at a professional and supervisory level; or an equivalent combination of post-secondary education and experience is required.
  • Membership or eligibility for membership in the College of Applied Biology, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, or Canadian Institute of Planners is desired.
  • Experience successfully leading a team working on complex projects including hiring, mentoring, performance management, and motivating
  • Experience balancing traditional urban environmental management issues such as fish and wildlife habitat with social and community values around access to nature and stewardship
  • Experience working with multidisciplinary staff teams including biologists, landscape architects, and non-technical staff to manage natural areas and ecological values in urban park systems
  • Experience with First Peoples in developing culturally appropriate environmental stewardship practices
  • Experience managing complex and controversial planning and policy projects

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Familiarity with and knowledge of Vancouver’s park system, land use, physical environment (Vancouver’s urban forest, shorelines, streams, wildlife community, etc), Vancouver Park Board governance system, Local First Nations interests, environmental regulation (Wildlife Act, Water Sustainability Act, Fisheries Act, etc.), and important urban ecosystem values and issues
  • Ability to respond to challenging and sometimes controversial public and media enquiries about environmental and sustainability projects or issues
  • Ability to anticipate and adapt to trends in urban environmental management and regulation such as the proposed provincial species at risk act and urban wildlife management
  • Ability to respond to challenging environmental issues such as contaminant spills, water quality concerns, or urban wildlife on behalf of the Park Board
  • Creative problem solving including public consultation skills
  • Preparing and presenting reports which clearly communicate complex ideas including interviews with media
  • Ability to lead and participate on teams involving diverse interest groups using facilitation, conflict resolution and interest-based mediation skills to achieve mutually agreeable solutions
  • Ability to supervise and mentor staff for broader responsibilities in policy, research and planning
  • Ability to exercise initiative and sound judgment in dealing with work load
  • Working in a changing environment while delivering of complex projects on time and on budget

Business Unit/Department: Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability 

Affiliation: CUPE 15

Employment Type: Regular Full Time 

Position Start Date: December, 2020

Salary Information: Pay Grade 34: $55.35 to $65.47 per hour

Application Close: November 8, 2020

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

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