Gordon Harris is a city planner and urban land advisor. For the past 14 years as President and CEO of SFU Community Trust, he has also led the development of UniverCity, a model sustainable community on endowment lands owned by Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
Gordon is a Fellow of both the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. For seven years he served as a member of the National Capital Commission’s advisory committee on planning, design, and realty. He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifetime contribution to community building in Canada.
For over 30 years Gordon has been the Principal of an independent planning and urban land advisory consultancy, serving clients across Canada and globally. His practice is focused on public sector and institutional clients, assisting them in approaches to monetizing land assets to support their core missions while also creating more livable, affordable, and sustainable communities at any scale.
Clients include universities and colleges across Canada and in Australia as well as all levels of government and NGOs in Canada, Central America, and Europe. Previous private-sector assignments ranged from site-specific projects to master-planned communities in Canada, Asia, and the Middle East.
Gordon was a founding board member of the British Columbia chapter of the Urban Land Institute and served on the executive board of the Urban Development Institute’s Pacific Region. He was also an elected member of the governing board of the Planning Institute of British Columbia. He is a Registered Professional Planner in Ontario.
Gordon is a past member of the board of directors of the Musqueam Capital Corporation and a current member of the Nch’kay Deveelopment Corporation. Both of these are wholly-owned subsidiaries of First Nations, the Musqueam and the Squamish nations. He is also on the advisory board of Chard Development Limited, a progressive and socially-responsible land developer in Vancouver.
For seven years Gordon served on the board of the British Columbia Arts Council and over the past 25 years has served on or chaired several arts-related organizations including the internationally-acclaimed Polygon Gallery and the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery.
Gordon is a frequent presenter at international conferences and a leading commenter on sustainable community planning and development, social transition planning, and the challenge of planning for an aging population. He is an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and has been a guest lecturer at a number of other universities including the University of British Columbia, the University of Waterloo, Acadia University, and McGill University.
In 2018, Ecotone Press published “Building Community: Defining, Designing, Developing UniverCity”, written by Gordon Harris with Richard Littlemore.