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PR 3 - Women must have greater involvement in planning and designing Government's new communities

23 January 2008

Janet O'Neill is set to become only the third ever female president of the Royal Town Planning Institute, and the first to also be a mum. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday 23 2008 at 4.00pm at Church House, Dean's Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ.

Janet is determined to use her year in office to tackle a range of themes, amongst them is to encourage young women coming into the profession that they can reach the top of the tree. Janet also strongly believes that since the UK is facing major planning challenges, such as housing shortages and climate change, women planners should be encouraged to expand their contribution.

Janet O'Neill Said: \"Britain is changing rapidly and the role of planning is increasing. Many more women are entering the planning profession and this can only be positive. Female planners can offer a comparative view on some of the most pressing issues of the day, such as tackling childhood obesity, safe streets and play areas, accessibility and vitality of urban areas.

\"I am not about to be pigeon-holed as a single issue President, just because I am female. My main theme for the year is to strengthen links between planning academics and those in practice. Too often leading planning thought is filtering through too slowly into every day planning practice. Just as some academic projects would benefit from input from practitioners.\"


For further information please contact:

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager: 0207 929 9479

Editors Notes:

1. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:
41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865

2. The RTPI's was formed in 1914 and currently has over 20,000 members. Presidents were not elected by the membership until 2006. The presidency lasts for one year.

3. The first female President was, Sylvia Law OBE MA MRTPI, appointed in 1974 – 75

4. The second female President was Hazel McKay MSc MPhil MRTPI, appointed in 1994-95

5. Janet O'Neill will take on the Presidency on 23 January 2008 at a ceremony in Church House, Westminster, London at approximately 4.00pm

6. The UK is set to build 3 million new homes by 2020, with 240,000 homes a year until 2016.

7. The RTPI has produced a Good Practice Note entitled: Gender and Spatial Planning which can be found at