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Phil Williams proud of global impact of planning during final speech as RTPI President

20 January 2017

From Belfast in Northern Ireland to Loch Lomond in Scotland and Quito in Ecuador, 2016 RTPI President Phil Williams’ valedictory speech was a whistle-stop tour of lessons learnt across the globe.

Phil Williams Valedictory Speech

At a ceremony in central London on Wednesday, Phil delivered his last speech as RTPI President. He commented throughout he speech on the “extremely valuable role that the planning profession undertakes across the Nations and Regions of the UK, and globally”.

Phil clocked up over 78,000 air miles as President and drew on the many examples from his year to illustrate the impact of planning, he said:

“A visit to Loch Lomond National Park to meet its hardworking staff demonstrated that good planning can be undertaken in many forms and scales.”

From Scotland to the West Midlands:

“Birmingham City University Partnership Board meeting – evidence of collaborative working between academia and public/private sectors”

And internationally:

“I was also able to witness how good quality urban design had transformed the waterfront in Auckland”.

“Meeting university students demonstrated that the future of planning is in good hands – the next generation of planners was a recurring theme throughout my visits across all the [UK] nations and [English] regions.”

He said the housing “surfaced wherever I have gone” but after his visit to Quito, Ecuador for Habitat III and to launch the UK Built Environment Advisory Group he had a different perspective:

“Whilst the UK has significant challenges itself regarding the housing crisis, in Ecuador the challenge relates to primary shelter and not even housing per se. It was a humbling experience.”

As his year as President drew to a close, he reflected on the many young planners he met and looked to the future:

“Meeting university students demonstrated that the future of planning is in good hands – the next generation of planners was a recurring theme throughout my visits across all the [UK] nations and [English] regions.”

Phil’s year as president:

President 'goes to prison' in Wales  

President impressed with UK’s first and only start up facility for pharma industry in Stevenage          

President's rallying cry to politicians to take planning seriously at #plancon16 

President sees how planners are protecting nation’s heritage during East Midlands visit

‘Planners helping to deliver outstanding projects in North West England’, says President

President sees planners helping to regenerate and deliver infrastructure in London

President sees how members are shaping the future of planning in Ireland

President impressed with outstanding planning projects during North East of England visit

President celebrates planners’ achievements in the South East of England

President pleased with planners’ focus on housing delivery during Yorkshire visit

President: “Planners playing a valuable role in South West of England”

President praises proactive planning during Scottish visit

President visits Australia and New Zealand

President praises young Northern Ireland planning talent