A five minute interview with the Chair of RTPI London
1) What’s your name & your role on the RAC/RMB?
Chair, RTPI London, 2013
In my role, I chair the meetings of RTPI London volunteers who organise free and low-cost events and activities in London for our members throughout the year. I have organised events on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Viability in Planning and also assisted in many other events such as the RTPI London Planning Conference in 2011 and the RTPI President’s Visit in 2012.
In 2012 I also chaired the Young Planners arm of RTPI London which focuses on delivering events and activities for those who have been working in planning for less than 10 years. The committee organised many events including speed networking, pub quizzes, networking socials, university talks and APC talks. We also organised the national RTPI Young Planners Conference which was a particular highlight to be part of.
None of these events would be possible without the hard work of our RTPI London volunteers and our Regional Coordinator, Lucy Barton.
2) Where do you work and what do you do?
Deputy Team Leader, Development Plans, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
I am currently working on:
- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
- Viability and infrastructure planning
- Local Plan documents for the borough
3) Tell us about where you grew up, and where you went to school
I grew up in a village in the Green Belt(!) in South Staffordshire, on the edge of Wolverhampton.
4) …and university?
I studied at the University of Sheffield.
5) What made you choose to get into planning?
I have always been interested in sustainable development and saw planning as a very practical way of applying the principles of sustainable development to place-making.
6) What do you think the planning profession does well?
Planners are great at being a ‘jack of all trades’ (and masters of many!) and mediating between competing interests. Planners are fairly unique in being able to provide a spatial dimension to the planning of development and infrastructure (which is often missing in policy-making).
7) Is there anyone from the built environment professions (past or present) that you find particularly inspiring?
Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century writers like Charles Booth and George Orwell are rather inspiring, not for ‘planning’ per se, but for documenting the often shocking conditions of towns and cities, which remind us why we have planning today and its roots in public health.
8) Favourite building in London?
Ernő Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower.
9) A O B? – What else would you like to say?
We always love to hear from any RTPI London members regarding suggestions for future events and sponsorship, or who would like to get involved in the RTPI London committee. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, via LinkedIn or Twitter @robzowski.