Pupils from Little Heath School, Tilehurst learnt about planning when they had a visit from a ‘Future Planner’ ambassador from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) on 5 June 2014. The Year 7 students found out about the challenges planners seek to address and the career opportunities available in the profession.
Alison Wright, RTPI Young Planner of the Year 2012/2013 and a Future Planner ambassador spoke to students about the impact of planning on their everyday lives and explained how planners are considering future housing sites on the edge of Reading. The ambassador also talked about the skill sets required by planners and the potential routes to study planning at university.
Alison Wright said: “I really enjoyed talking to students about planning. We had lots of interaction in the session, particularly on the local case study. From reading some of the student’s competition entries it was also clear that they had understood the importance of planning in shaping their local environment.”
Future Planners is a project launched by the RTPI to mark its centenary year. Over 100 ambassadors have been recruited to visit schools up and down the country to raise awareness and foster an interest in planning with students aged 11 to 18. The project aims to get young people thinking about the place where they live and the challenges communities face in the future.
With 23,000 members’ worldwide working in the public, private, charitable and education sectors, the RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe. As well as promoting spatial planning, the RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built and natural environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.
As part of the centenary project the RTPI has also produced a short film ‘How do we plan our world’ explaining about the importance of planning to our everyday lives and the wider environment. The film can be viewed here.
The RTPI’s President Cath Ranson said: "The RTPI Future Planners project offers an exciting and important opportunity to inspire a younger generation and get young people thinking about their environment.”