2012 National Urban Design Awards - Jury Members

Alex Taranu, FCIP, RPP, OAA is an urbanist and architect with over 30 years of experience in Canada and abroad. He has worked in consulting as well as government offices on a wide variety of projects and is currently Manager of Urban Design for the City of Brampton, Ontario, a dynamic city of almost 500,000 residents in the Greater Toronto Area. In his position Alex manages the Urban Design section with a staff of 15 urban designers, planners, architects, heritage coordinators with focus on Central Area planning and design, city-wide urban design policy, development design review, heritage preservation, urban design studies and special projects management.

His areas of expertise include downtown revitalization, redevelopment of inner city and suburban areas, sustainable urban forms and transit oriented development, urban design policy, design review and architectural control, heritage integration, process and project management.

Alex is founding member and director/secretary of the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU) and founding member and past chair of Ontario Professional Planner’s Institute Urban Design Working Group. He has written articles for Plan Canada and Ontario Planning Journal, organized numerous events, workshops and presentations and is a frequent lecturer on urban design. He was a key contributor to the Ontario Professional Planners Paper and communication campaign on the “Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities” initiative as well as other key policy papers including the ones on the Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement.

Alex has received the OPPI Award in 2007 for his professional work through the years within the planning profession. In 2011, Alex was inducted into the CIP College of Fellows for his achievement in the areas of professional practice as well as teaching and mentoring of planners.


Ian Chodikoff, FRAIC is an architect and editor of Canadian Architect magazine. He has a background in political science, public administration and urban design. His interests range from the effects of transnational migration on urbanization to issues relating to social inclusion and cultural diversity. Ian currently serves on the City of Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel and the External Advisory Board member at York University's CITY Institute. His research entitled Fringe Benefits: Cosmopolitan Dynamics of a Multicultural City explores the influences of multiculturalism on the suburban communities, illustrating opportunities for social and economic development. He has taught and lectured in various universities and cities across North America and Europe, has served on many design juries and has written in a variety of magazines and journals. His research on the effects of migration on the Senegalese economy was recently part of an exhibition entitled "Journeys" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. He is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.


Sid Thakar OALA CSLA has been practicing as a landscape architect in the National Capital region for over 35 years. After graduating in architecture in India in 1972 he pursued graduate studies in Landscape Architecture under Ian McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1974.

After moving to Canada in 1975 he has worked in both the private and public sectors, and has acquired an extensive record of experience in landscape architecture, urban design and environmental planning. As a consultant he has been involved in several high-profile projects and prestigious assignments for clients such as the National Capital Commission, Agriculture & Agri-Foods Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, CMHC, the RCMP, the Regional Government, all local municipal governments, many engineering and architectural consultants and land development firms.

These projects included many sites of national significance and heritage landscapes such as the Parliamentary Precinct, Confederation Boulevard, Major’s Hill Park & Nepean Point, the Central Experimental Farm and Festival Plaza. He has worked extensively with the NCC and the Parliamentary Precinct Directorate of PWGSC, preparing Terms of Reference for key urban design studies relating to Parliament Hill, the Judicial Precinct and a National Botanic Garden, as well as feasibility studies and site development plans for many sites of national and heritage significance.

He has represented the CSLA on the NCC’s Core Area Planning Studies and the Central Experimental Farm Advisory Council and was a member of many urban design charrettes and programs such as the Rideau Street Revitalization Plan, Communities in Bloom, etc. He has a keen interest in urban design and heritage landscape conservation, and has vigorously championed the cause of enhancing the urban forest in the Capital Region.