ULI Logo

Mary Lou Tanner

Director, Planning and Building, City of Burlington

Sector: Public Sector
Discipline: Planning/Urban Design
Year: 2014

Mary Lou Tanner

Director, Planning and Building, City of Burlington

Magic Moment: I was seconded to prepare the Downtown Secondary Plan for the City of Hamilton.   I worked with an inspiring consulting team from whom I learned a great deal. I learned about city building and built form. I was able to get the plan adopted by Council. It has stood the test of time – that plan is being implemented and is a key part of the Hamilton renaissance.

Key Influence: Bill Janssen- From Bill I learned that people who work very differently can be a great team. We leveraged each other’s strengths.

Betty Matthews-Malone- From Betty I learned how to support and mentor colleagues and staff.

Next Big Challenge As An Industry: I think transit is a key issue. Land use density that makes transit successful must be our focus. I am as concerned about underbuilding our city-region as I am about overbuilding our city-region. However, we must build communities that are walkable neighbourhoods with all the amenities that make a place great to be in.

Secret Talent: I love working on communicating planning in exciting new ways.

On Championing Others… I am a big believer in education and continuous learning. I strongly support everyone taking courses and attending conferences. I strongly support taking on new and different roles to learn and grow – through secondments and special projects.

One word that captures you: Tenacious