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PR 57 - The future of UK planning examined at RTPI National Young Planners' Conference

14 October 2008

200 of the UK's finest young planning professionals descended upon Brighton (10th – 11th October) to attend the National Young Planners' Conference, the largest young planners' event in the UK organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute Young Planners' Network (RTPI YPN).

The annual event is an opportunity for young planners and students to engage and learn more about issues at the forefront of planning. The 2008 conference, entitled 'Planning the Next 60 Years: Bridging the Great Divide', explored important periods in planning over the past 60 years since the enactment of the 1947 Act and the challenges facing planning professionals and the built environment in the future.

High profile speakers at the conference included Caroline Lucas, Leader of the Green Party; Janet O'Neill, RTPI President; Richard Simmons, Chief Executive of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Gideon Amos, Chief Executive of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).

Caroline Lucas focused on regeneration and urged young planners to work towards resolving the conflict between social and environmental factors in planning, in a push for more sustainable communities and high quality built environments.

Richard Simmons and Gideon Amos delivered a clear message that in times of global economic uncertainty, planning professionals should not lower their standards in the name of a quick fix development. They were united in their call for a greater attention to the fine detail of development, the importance of design and producing vibrant, exciting and socially rich communities where people want to live.

Also speaking at the event, Catriona Riddell, Director of Planning of the South East England Regional Assembly, said: \"Young planners should feel encouraged that this sector is one of the most exciting ones to work in. It brings challenges but as a planner, whether it is at the local, regional or national level, you are in a unique position to help shape places and communities.\"

Charlie Collins, RTPI South East Young Planners' Representative and conference chair was pleased with the strong messages sent to young planners:

\"Delegates I've spoken to really enjoyed the two days and left the conference feeling inspired to learn from lessons of the past and have a greater understanding of the issues that must be addressed now if the future is to be one of successful and prosperous communities across the UK.\"

The conference schedule included plenary sessions, exhibitors, study tours and the Annual Young Planners Dinner attended by the Mayor of Brighton with guest speaker Mark Tewdwr-Jones from the University College, London.

The conference was made possible with the generous support of headline sponsor Terence O'Rourke, and major sponsors Broadway Malyan; Savills; Vail Williams; Gleeson Strategic Land; DMH Stallard; Beresford Blake Thomas; Hays Construction and Property; the South East England Regional Assembly; Brighton and Hove Council; Humberts Leisure and RTPI South East.


For further information contact:

Sophie Stapleton
Communications Manager
Royal Town Planning Institute
020 7929 9479
0787 0672 020


1. Images are available upon request.
2. The RTPI Young Planners' Network is the largest of the RTPI networks, with over 1,000 members.
3. The National Young Planners' Conference is organised annually by young planners for young planners and was held in 2008 at the Brighton Centre, City of Brighton & Hove.
4. For further information on RTPI YPN please contact: Catherine Middleton, RTPI Network Manager, 44 20 7515 1913,
5. The South Coast Young Planners' Network and Thames Valley Young Planners' Network are run by young planners' working in the South East region. Please contact Patrick Griffin ( and Sophia Thorpe ( for further details.
6. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people. We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space. Through our 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:
The RTPI, 41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL is a registered charity in England 262865 and Scotland SC037841.