News: 5 November 2019The 2019 Young Planners’ Conference wraps up

Young planners from across the Practice have returned to their offices after enjoying several days of learning, networking and taking part in guided tours across the North East at the RTPI Young Planners’ Conference this weekend.

Our team of ten planners, along with Partner, James Hall, kicked off the event co-hosting the opening drinks on the Thursday evening and providing food for thought for young planners across the country with results from our survey showing a keenness to see more green spaces near their places of work along with a desire for more traffic free routes for running, walking and cycling.

Among those who attended from our team, were Newcastle-based Graduate Planner, Hannah Woodall. She said: “One of the study tours was to Beamish where a lot of new development is taking place to expand the museum to accommodate growth and support tourism in the North East.

“It was great to hear how the local authority are proactive in promoting growth at the museum through collaboration with the museum’s design managers to ensure the museum can successfully recreate the architecture of Georgian and the 1950’s eras to continue attracting the visitor numbers they do, recognising the wider benefits for the region.”


Laura Archer, Chair of the South Coast Young Planners Network, recently appointed as a Young Planner Trustee of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), was impressed by the technology being adopted. She said: “Newcastle University’s open lab has trialled new engagement techniques by placing a camera on wheelchairs so that they can see what needs changing from a better perspective and actually be able to enforce change with this evidence.

“The use of technology and data sharing will enable the planning system to speed up, make it more inclusive and accessible for those who work in and outside of the profession. Digital technology will only be a positive tool for effective planning.”

Sarah Cottingham, Senior Planner in our Ebbsfleet office, added: “A key takeaway for me was how important it is to work together with local people and businesses to ensure we as young planners continue to broaden our thinking and help to create more interesting and successful places.”

Sam Thistlethwaite, Associate Planner in our Newcastle office and Regional Chair of the RTPI in the North East, said: “The RTPI Young Planners’ Conference brought together the future of our industry to Newcastle and Gateshead. It was a fantastic opportunity to show off the region to this group of professionals with study tours featuring talks from the public and private partners to demonstrate the innovative ideas being developed here.”

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