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Vibrant Places Inc.

Rethinking Cities + Neighbourhoods 

+ Economic Vibrancy

+ Place Making

+ Urban Planning

+ Community Capacity Building


Gloria Venczel, BES, B.Arch., RPP, MCIP

Principal, Urban Design + Economic Vibrancy  



Gloria Venczel, BES, B.Arch., RPP, MCIP, is an award winning, innovative registered urban designer/ urban planner. As a multi-disciplinary professional, with over 15 years of experience in pedestrian-oriented urban design, land use planning, placemaking and public space programming for vibrancy and 10 years of experience as a former Intern Architect, Gloria has worked in the public sector, with a stellar municipal practice track record of a 99% success rate at Public Hearings for rezoning application files that she managed, and was lead urban planner/urban designer for the successful Official Community Plan's Special Study Area for Central Lonsdale's Density Bonusing for Rental Housing, the largest CNV study in 20 years, with a near unanimous recommendation from the Council-Appointed Stakeholder Committee. She has also worked on a number of  private sector feasibility studies and related development  consulting. She was in a leadership role in NGO sector as the past Founding Executive Director of the Smart Growth Canada Network (funded by NRCan & REFBC), creating visually enhanced e-courses on Canadian success stories on implemented smart growth principles, where she was chief editor.


As immediate past Thought Leader, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), MetroVan’s Built City Speaker Series (BCSS), a public/professional forum for dialogue, joint problem solving and capacity building for walkable, vibrant and affordable cities, Gloria was able to gauge and harness public interest / demand for affordable housing, as well as local small business economic resiliency through curated speakers, in sold out events, of up to 120 people. Gloria planned and facilitated, “The Nuts n Bolts of Affordable Housing-Finance + Form + Tenure- A TOD Mini-Charrette”, attracting  eight full charrette tables, with no less than  three     municipal council candidates as participants.    She was able to tap into civil society’s public good capital, provide tools and insights to translate deep problems into hope, strengthening the“social contract”, with each event.


As Principal, Urban Design + Economic Vibrancy, Vibrant Places Inc., Rethinking Cities + Neighbourhoods, Gloria has been researching and updating the global award winning, walkable green city strategy, “The Vancouver Achievement” in the (post)covid equity context, incorporating the thinking of the late urbanist, Jane Jacobs, where “the genesis of cities is commerce”, as our very foundations of civil society and the “social contract” have been sorely tested by the pandemic.


Gloria had founded Vibrant Places Inc.Rethinking Cities + Neighbourhoods as a socio-economic dual response to the affordable housing crisis, a cutting edge US NGO approach of local economic + community development. Her launch consulting urban design project has been recently published in the Canadian Institute of Planners’ magazine, PLAN Canada’s edition on the Future of Work, titled “Neighbourhood Pocket Parks as Catalysts for Socio-Economic Resilience”.  “Trutch + Broadway, West Broadway BIA’s First Nations + Pan Asian Neighbourhood Pocket Park” and “Waterloo + Broadway, West Broadway BIA’s First Nations + Multicultural Neighbourhood Pocket Park” socially connected public space designs can be found in the embedded links.


She strongly believes in Continuous Professional Learning and is the Chair, Planning Institute of BC's Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) Committee. Gloria has also recently completed her Project Management Certificate at Simon Fraser University. 

Gloria has exceptional hands-on organizational process experience and expertise, gained from a unique capacity to thrive in cross-disciplinary and cross sectoral contexts, while contributing to the public good.

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