President of the Royal Town Planning Institute Martin Willey thinks planning is in safe hands with today's young planners, calling them \"the exciting future of the profession\".
Willey opened the 2009 Young Planners Conference, in Newcastle, with a call to young planners to rise to the modern day challenges of climate change and economic downturn.
\"I came into planning because I wanted to change the world, and I see that same passion in young planners today. I want them to use that enthusiasm to build the strongest profession we can,\" said Martin Willey to 150 delegates.
The Castlegate Conference Centre, in Newcastle Gateshead, is playing host to the RTPI Young Planners event, which includes the annual Young Planners' Conference Dinner, a series of study tours, an exhibition and some top speakers.
Willey added: \"Young planners today exhibit enthusiasm, drive, ambition and, most importantly, professional integrity – the unique selling point of the RTPI.
\"There is real scope for young planners to show leadership and, even in these difficult times, the careers open to planners today provide extraordinary opportunities to engage the public in creating better places in the future.\"
Of the RTPI's 23,000 members, there are now around 8,500 young planners.
Willey said: \"The calibre of young people entering the profession now is extraordinarily good. I look forward to seeing the RTPI grow and help achieve planning objectives.\"
The 2009 Young Planners Conference is taking place on Friday, October 2, and Saturday, October 3, 2009.