On Thursday 21st March RTPI members from London and elsewhere in the South East of England came together for the launch of the first gathering of a new international planning network for the wider region, kindly sponsored and hosted by ATKINS.
The event opened with a networking reception, allowing members the opportunity to meet others interested in international planning. This was followed by four short talks from a range of speakers, each expanding on the RTPI’s role internationally and the potential for the new virtual network.
Richard Summers, Chairman of the RTPI International Committee and Past President of the Institute hosted the event, introducing the idea of a virtual network to support those who are involved or interested in international spatial planning activities.
Judith Eversley then followed with her take as International Affairs Officer for the RTPI. She provided a brief introduction to the existing international work of the Institute , promoting the resources available on the RTPI website and a guide currently being produced to support planners working aboard.
The importance of international planning and skills planners have which can be exported worldwide, particularly in Europe, was highlighted by Chris Poulton from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Zoe Green, a senior international planning consultant from ATKINS and joint international planning representative for RTPI London then followed. She set out her approach to addressing the urgent issues arising from rapid urbanisation, with particular emphasis on the benefits of a ‘future proofing’ perspective – helping cities develop programmes of investment which meet their changing objectives and build upon the institutional capacities they have available (for more info see http://www.futureproofingcities.com).
A number of questions were raised from the floor including the position of planning in other countries, the localism approach to planning internationally and how the IPSEE network would work.
Attendees at the launch event demonstrated enthusiasm and support for the virtual international planning network for the east of England particularly the opportunity this network could create to share international planning projects and experiences. The event was also notably attended by the Global Urbanist, an online magazine dedicated to promoting planning issues around the world. Thanksalso goes to our sponsors ATKINS that provided the venue and refreshments for the event itself.
If you are an RTPI member and interested in joining the Steering Group for this network please contact Zoe Green at firstname.lastname@example.org