Leonie Sandercock joined the School of Community & Regional Planning at UBC in July 2001 and served as Director of the School from July 2006 to November 2007. Her main research interest is in working with First Nations, through collaborative community planning, using the medium of film as a catalyst for dialogue, on the possibilities of healing, reconciliation, and partnership. She is using her documentary (with Giovanni Attili) 'Finding Our Way' as a catalyst for dialogues in BC communities (see www.mongrel-stories.com and www.facebook.com/FINDING.OUR.WAY.thefilm).
Other research interests include immigration, cultural diversity and integration; the possibilities of a more therapeutic model of planning; the importance of stories and storytelling in planning theory and practice; and the role of multimedia in planning.
Leonie was Professor and Head of Graduate Urban Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney from 1981-1986, before moving to Los Angeles where she had two careers, one in screenwriting, the other teaching in the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA, both of which were life-transforming experiences.
She has also written books about sport (Australian football) and about the Australian labor movement, and had one of her screenplays produced as an ABC TV Movie of the Week in 1992 while living in LA. Her best known urban writings are Cities for Sale (1975); Public Participation in Planning (1975); The Land Racket (1979); Urban Political Economy: the Australian Case (1983), with Mike Berry; Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural History of Planning (1998); Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities (1998); and Cosmopolis 2: Mongrel Cities of the 21st Century (2003). She now collaborates with Giovanni Attili (University of Rome) on documentaries (Where Strangers Become Neighbours, 2007; and Finding Our Way, 2010) and books: Where Strangers Become Neighbours: the integration of immigrants in Vancouver, Canada (2009), and an edited collection Multimedia in Urban Policy and Planning: Beyond the Flatlands (2010).
Working with two First Nations communities in north central BC since 2007 has brought about a change of direction in Leonie's work. She is now focusing on the work of healing, reconciliation and the possibility of partnerships between Native and non-Native Canadians, and community development and cross-cultural dialogue in historically divided communities. Since 2010, Leonie has been working on a new curriculum, Indigenous Community Planning (ICP), within SCARP's Masters degree. This curriculum has been designed and is now being delivered in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band, on whose traditional, ancestral and unceded territory UBC is located. The program began in 2012 and admits six students each year. As of 2016, there were twenty two graduates of the ICP program, almost half of whom are Indigenous. In 2016 we received support from the federal Department of INdigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to expand the program. The ICP program consists of four core courses, plus an internship with a First Nation or Indigenous organization, and a Practicum in a First Nations community in BC. For more details see www.icp.scarp.ubc.ca.
Leonie is currently (2016) supervising nine doctoral students, six of whom are working on Indigenous research issues. She is not intending to take on any more doctoral students.
Off-campus, Leonie enjoys surfing, dancing, swimming, and hiking, as well as reading novels, watching movies, and feasting with friends.
In 2003 Leonie received a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to establish the Vancouver Cosmopolis Laboratory at SCARP. This Lab is now being used to explore the uses of multimedia in planning practice and research. The first product of the Lab was the 50 minute documentary film, by Giovanni Attili and Leonie Sandercock, 'Where Strangers become Neighbours: the story of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House and the integration of immigrants in Vancouver'. Information about and a preview of this film can be found at www.mongrel-stories.com. This film received a Special Mention in the International Federation of Housing and Planning's film competition (Sept 2006) and an Honorable Mention in the Documentary section of the Berkeley Video and Film Festival (Oct 2006). The film is now distributed by the Collingwood Neighbourhood House.
In 2005 Leonie received The Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban & Regional Planning, awarded by the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at California State Polytechnic University. The 2005 Dale Prize theme was "Voices in Planning: Transforming Land Use Practice through Community Engagement".
Also in 2005 Leonie received The Davidoff Award, from the American Collegiate Schools of Planning. This is a biennial award for the best book in the field of urban, regional, and community planning, in the spirit of the ideals of the late Paul Davidoff concerning social justice and equity, for Cosmopolis 2: Mongrel Cities of the 21st Century(London & NY: Continuum, 2003).
In March 2007 Leonie received the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning for her writing on Cosmopolitan Urbanism and for her collaboration with Vancouver's Collingwood Neighbourhood House, with whom she shared first prize.
In Sept 2012 Leonie was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for lifetime contribution to planning scholarship by Roskilde University in Denmark.
In Oct 2015 Leonie received the Distinguished Planning Educator Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (North America) for her contributions to planning scholarship, education, and practice. Leonie was the first person outside of the USA to receive this award.
Major Areas of Engagement in Sustainability Planning
1. Planning Theory and History
My intellectual project for the past two decades has been to diversify planning theory and history. In Towards Cosmopolis (1998) I used feminist, postmodern, and postcolonial theories to critique mainstream (modernist) planning theory and the ‘official story’ of planning history. In the edited collection, Making the Invisible Visible(1998), I go beyond critiquing the official story, and begin to explore insurgent planning histories, and the hidden or suppressed stories of marginalized social groups. I continue to be interested in theories of difference and their importance for planning practice. At the same time, I have tried to formulate a radical social project for planning, one that broadens the debate about what planning is, and who may be considered to be engaged in planning. One central question is how and why do cities change, And how might planning contribute to social transformation. Another question concerns the knowledge/power nexus, and who might be considered a ‘knower’, and what might be considered valid knowledge. A third challenge is how to democratise planning practices. Finally, I am exploring the powers and limitations of story and storytelling in planning practice and scholarship.
a) Most relevant course: PLAN 508
b) Other closely related courses in SCARP: PLAN 602
2. Indigenous Community Planning
As part of the new Indigenous Community Planning curriculum, I have co-developed and co-teach with Leona Sparrow (Director of Treaty, Lands and Resources, Musqueam Indian Band) a new foundation course, 'Indigenous Community Planning: ways of being, knowing, and doing'. We teach this course in a non-traditional way, over three intensive weekends, and using the Talking Circle format. We spend half of our class time on the Musqueam Reserve, learning from Elders and other culturally knowledgeable community members, and walking the land with them. The core of this course is understanding Indigenous world views and developing an Indigenous planning paradigm from that starting point. The challenge is to think through what it means to unlearn the colonial culture of planning and to begin to decolonize our personal as well as professional practices.
Most relevant course: PLAN 533
Other related courses: PLAN 548Q (Indigenous Law and Governance)
Since 2005, in collaboration with Dr. Giovanni Attili (University of Rome), I have been exploring the uses of film in social change and therapeutic planning practice, and as a catalyst for Indigenous community development. I'm interested in ways in which the making of and engaging with film in carefully designed community settings may open up a space for difficult conversations about past and ongoing conflicts and injustices, and offer the potential for healing and for moving forward into sustainable community planning partnerships. (see Sandercock and Attili, 'Unsettling a Settler Society: film, phronesis and collaborative planning in small-town Canada', in Flyvbjerg et al, Real Social Science, Cambridge University Press, 2012; Sandercock and Attili, ‘The Past as Present: film as community planning intervention in Native/non-Native relations in BC, Canada’ in Jojola, Natcher, and Walker (eds), Reclaiming Indigenous Planning, 2013, McGill-Queens University Press); Sandercock and Attili 'Changing the Lens: Film as action research and therapeutic planning intervention', Journal of Planning Education & Research, 34, 1: 19-29.
In 2014 I received a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to work with the Haida Nation and an Inuit film production company (Isuma/Kingulliit Productions) on a project that explores film and multimedia as catalysts for Indigenous community development, specifically language revitalization and economic development. This six year project includes the co-creation of a feature film script based on Haida legend and history; the making of the film on Haida Gwaii in the Haida language; the creation of TV channels in the two Haida communities as part of Isuma's Digital Indigenous Democracy network; and the monitoring and evaluation of the impacts of these activities on the Haida community.
Leonie Sandercock - CV
Leonie Sandercock (born 1949) is an urban planner and academic focusing on community planning and multiculturalism. She has been teaching at the School of Community & Regional Planning at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, since 2001.
Education and career
Sandercock received an MFA (screenwriting) from University of California at Los Angeles (1989), a PhD, Australian National University (1974) and a BA (Hons), University of Adelaide (1970). She has served as a senior academic in Australia at Macquarie University, RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, as well as UCLA. Sandercock is married to John Friedmann.
Leonie was professor and head of graduate Urban Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney from 1981- 1986 before moving to Los Angeles, where she had two careers, one in screenwriting, the other teaching in the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA. After moving to Canada and working on a documentary with two First Nations in north central British Columbia, Leonie's interest has shifted to Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations in Canada and other settler societies.
Her research now focuses on working with First Nations through collaborative community planning, using the medium of film as a catalyst for dialogue on the possibilities of healing, reconciliation, and partnership. She recently completed a documentary (with Giovanni Attili) entitled "Finding Our Way." Her current project, in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation and the Nunavut Independent TV Network, is developing a feature film script about the Haida, in Haida language, through a community story harvesting process.
Other research interests include immigration, cultural diversity and integration; a more therapeutic model of planning; the importance of stories and storytelling in planning theory and practice; and the role of multimedia in planning.
Since 2010 Leonie has been working on a new curriculum, Indigenous Community Planning, within the master's degree in Planning at the School of Community & Regional Planning at UBC. This curriculum has been designed and is now being delivered in partnership with the Musqueam First Nation, on whose traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory UBC is located. In 2014 there are 12 students enrolled in the ICP program (see www.scarp.ubc.ca/indigenous-community-planning).
Sandercock has published many books, the most influential of which is Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities (1997), and its sequel Cosmopolis 2: Mongrel Cities of the 21st Century which won the Paul Davidoff Award from the American Collegiate Schools of Planning in 2005. These books established Sandercock as one of the foremost urban planning theorists concerning issues of multiculturalism in contemporary cities, and she is widely in demand internationally as a speaker.
In 2005 Sandercock was awarded the Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning (community engagement), and in 2007 she received the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning for her writing on Cosmopolitan Urbanism and for her collaboration with Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Vancouver. Her film (with Giovanni Attili), Where Strangers Become Neighbours (National Film Board of Canada, 2007) has also won several awards.
She has also written books about sport (Australian football), and about the Australian labour movement, and had one of her screenplays (Captive) produced as an ABC TV Movie of the Week in 1992. Her most recent book (with Giovanni Attili, her research partner since 2005), is the edited collection, "Multimedia Explorations in Urban Policy and Planning: beyond the flatlands" (2010).
In September 2012 Sandercock was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for her lifetime contribution to planning scholarship by Roskilde University, Denmark.
- Sandercock, L and Attili, G (2014) 'Changing the Lens: Film as Action Research and Therapeutic Planning Practice', Journal of Planning Education and Research.
- Sandercock, L and Attili, G (2010) Multimedia Explorations in Urban Policy and Planning, Springer (ISBN 9789048132089)
- Attili, G and Sandercock, L (2010) Finding Our Way, 90 minute documentary, Vancouver: Moving Images.
- Sandercock, L and Attili, G (2009) Where Strangers Become Neighbours: integrating immigrants in Vancouver, Canada, Springer, (ISBN 9781402090349)
- Attili, G and Sandercock, L (2007) Where Strangers Become Neighbours, 50 minute documentary, Montreal: National Film Board of Canada
- Sandercock, L (2003) Cosmopolis II: Mongrel Cities in the 21st Century, London: Continuum (ISBN 0826470459 and 0826464637 (pbk.))
- Sandercock, L (1998) Towards Cosmopolis: planning for multicultural cities, London: John Wiley (ISBN 0471971979 and 0471971987 (pbk))
- Sandercock, L (Ed)(1998) Making the invisible visible : a multicultural planning history, Berkeley : University of California Press (ISBN 0520207343 (alk. paper) 052020735 (pbk))
- Sandercock, L (1990) Property, Politics, and Urban Planning: a history of Australian city planning, 1890-1990, Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Press.
- Sandercock, L (1979) The Land Racket, Canberra: Silverfish.
- Sandercock, L (1975) Cities for sale : property, politics and urban planning in Australia, Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press (ISBN 052284085X)