Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
Photo of Dr. Gerald Hodge.

Gerald Hodge

Professor Emeritus
About:

Gerald Hodge

by David Gordon, Hok-Lin Leung and Mohammad Qadeer.

Photo of Dr. Gerald Hodge

Professor Emeritus J.F. Gerald Hodge FCIP passed away peacefully on November 18, 2017 at his home on Hornby Island, BC.

Gerald Hodge was born in 1931 in British Columbia. He received his BA in Sociology and Geography from UBC in 1957; MCP from UC Berkeley in 1959 and PhD from MIT in 1965.

Gerald was a professor for almost 30 years, starting at UBC and then at the University of Toronto from 1964-73. He was Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s from 1973-1986. During that period he taught every graduate of the school and was an influential mentor to hundreds of students, many of whom went on to become leading Canadian planners.

As a social scientist, Dr. Hodge introduced rigorous policy analysis into the curriculum, with an emphasis on regional planning and smaller communities. He also was a leader in expanding urban studies across Queen's. Gerald continued to teach at Simon Fraser University into the 1990s, focusing on the adequacy of community environments to support the activities and independence of seniors.

Dr. Hodge was the author of numerous monographs and several significant books, including Towns and Villages in Canada: the Importance of Being Unimportant (1985, with M.A. Qadeer); Planning Canadian Communities (1986 +); and The Geography of Aging: preparing communities for the surge in seniors (2008). His most recent book is a second edition of Planning Canadian Regions, with Ira Robinson and Heather Hall, published in 2017.

Professor Hodge’s most influential book is Planning Canadian Communities, which is now in its sixth edition (co-authored with D. Gordon) and is used as a text in many universities across Canada. The book was written in response to student protests over the lack of Canadian materials in the curricula of Canadian planning schools during the late 1970s, when the literature and practice of planning in Canada were dominated by British, American and French examples. Planning Canadian Communities has served as an introduction to the field to two generations of Canadian planners (over 25,000 students), and additional use in professional education. The sixth edition of the won the CIP’s 2014 Award for Planning Excellence in publications.

Professor Hodge also published numerous articles in refereed journals, magazines and Plan Canada. As a scholar, he has documented the evolution and practice of community planning as a distinctly Canadian endeavor. His international reputation was demonstrated by an invitation from the Journal of the American Planning Association to write the lead article for their 1985 special issue on Canadian planning.

In professional service, Dr. Hodge led the Plan Canada editorial team from 1974-80, with Professors Godfrey Spragge and Mohammad Qadeer. The Canadian Institute of Planners’ professional journal had ceased publication in 1973, but the Queen’s team re-launched it as one of the top planning journals. During this period, the journal published some of the earliest articles on the history of planning in Canada and high-calibre refereed research that attracted international contributors.

Professor Hodge was also policy advisor to various national agencies, especially the CIP and CMHC, for whom he wrote the important 1972 report, The demand and supply of urban and regional planners in Canada, recommending the expansion of the Canadian schools. He continued his advisory work into the 1990s, serving on the National Council on Aging and producing a film series, Harvest of Age.

Gerald’s role as a leader in Canadian planning was honoured with the CIP President’s Award in 2008 and admission to its College of Fellows in 2017.

In addition to his research, teaching and service, Gerald would want it noted that he practiced what he preached throughout his career, advising over 100 smaller communities and rural regions in BC and five other provinces. Extensive stakeholder participation was always part of the program and his rural planning often involved aboriginal communities, especially when he spent a year in Moose Factory ON.

Finally, Gerald was an engaged citizen in his urban life, working with community groups that questioned a freeway through downtown Vancouver, or a waterfront airport in Toronto or inappropriate waterfront development in Kingston. He nurtured lifetime interests in photography and music, acting as a Jazz DJ at the Hornby Island radio station into his final days.

Most of all, Hodge was that rare breed of an intellectual who combined the love of ideas with advocacy and action. One could sit with him for hours and the talk could range from politics, esoteric philosophies to the foibles of friends.

He will be greatly missed by his former students and colleagues at Queen’s.


Professor David Gordon FCIP was a student of Gerald Hodge. He is the Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning in the Department of Geography and Planning. Professors Emeriti Hok-Lin Leung FCIP and Mohammad Qadeer FCIP were colleagues of Gerald Hodge and former SURP Directors.