Sep 8, 2016
Ken O'Brien is the Chief Municipal Planner for the City of St. John's, involved with land-use planning, rezonings, heritage planning and environmental planning. He graduated from MUN in 1986 with a B.A. in Religious Studies and a minor in Math (having tried Engineering first), then attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, graduating with a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning in 1991. He likes history and old buildings and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. We discuss what a land use planner does and what they study, the importance of the social history of buildings, his work with the city of St. John’s, changes in the past 20 years, the benefits of heritage regulations, St. John’s storm doors, the Atlantic Planners Institute and the Planners’ Plate series, how community members can get involved with planning, mapping community assets, the oddities of downtown St. John’s, and growing up in Georgestown.