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Victoria Hills: Can you be one of the leading voices at the RTPI?

Good planning is fundamental to the future of society. At the Royal Town Planning Institute, our members are at the forefront of the decisions that shape quality places and spaces. But we do not work in isolation.

As a democratically run Institute, our members help us to shape the future of our profession. If you have a passion to make a difference, if you see something that you feel needs changing, if you have fresh and practical ideas that will help us deliver value for our members and contribute to our continued success, I strongly encourage you to take part in this year’s RTPI’s elections.

Positions available are varied, but all offer the chance to impact the future of the Institution. Members of our Board and General Assembly broaden their experience by taking part in the challenging discussions and decisions that impact the Institute and the wider profession. Members of the Board of Trustees and other committees come from a wide range of sectors, geographical locations and backgrounds, and are from all stages of their careers in planning. A diverse pool of opinions and points of view are important to ensure that we continue to truly represent the profession.

RTPI President Sue Bridge is a shining example of the change that can be made as an elected member of the Institute. In 2016, Sue became a trustee at the RTPI becoming Chair of the Board of Trustees. As Chair, Sue oversaw a major review of governance and has driven forward significant investment in the RTPI’s London office, as well as a growth in membership to 27,000. She continued as the Chair through her year as Vice President of the RTPI. Now, as President of the RTPI, Sue has placed the welfare of planners high on her agenda, and began the year by launching RTPI’s legal and well-being helplines across the UK.

This month’s trip to the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREIIF) is an excellent example of the convening role the RTPI plays in collaborating across the built environment sector. From 16-18 May, Sue and I will be attending UKREIIF to promote the value of planning and talk about the state of the profession, in particular why the call to resource has never been so urgent.

Speaking at important events like these, with some 7,000 delegates expected to attend, highlights not only the important impact the Institute continues to have with the broad development sector, but also the work that we need to do to make planners’ voices heard at the top table of local government and by investors and developers alike. The ambassadorial role of the RTPI President is important and necessary – so why not consider putting yourself forward, or checking out many of the other opportunities available to get involved?

If you want to enact change within the Institute, now is the time to step forward and get involved with your professional body. Please look out for the nominations email from [email protected].

I believe that everyone involved in the RTPI – whether student, volunteer, or member of the Board of Trustees – plays their own part in contributing to our historic Institute. Our Royal Charter is a reminder of the significance and importance of our Institute. I expect everybody involved with the RTPI to be looking forward to this historic Coronation weekend, however you choose to spend it.


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