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Young Planners' Conference


This year's conference will be held in Milton Keynes on the topic of Utopia or Dystopia

This year, our Young Planners’ Conference will return as an in-person event, hosted by the Thames Valley Young Planners Committee (TVYP) in Milton Keynes on 21 – 22 October 2022. Throughout the two-day conference, delegates will have the opportunity to listen to a wide range of quality speakers, take part in interactive sessions and put their views across.

Focusing on our theme of ’Utopia or Dystopia’, speakers come from a mix of political, development, public sector, educational and voluntary backgrounds. The conference will explore the theme through a range of sessions which will seek to encourage constructive thinking and debate as to what makes a place a utopia or dystopia as well as a variety of virtual and in-person study tours along with networking and breakout sessions. The conference will challenge Young Planners to critique modern planning and how we as a community can strive for utopian successes whilst avoiding dystopian effects.

The Thames Valley is undergoing rapid transformative change, with the Oxford to Cambridge Arc planning agenda being a key driving force for this change. Milton Keynes is located at the heart of the Arc and is an ambitious place seeking to capitalise on its unique character as a New Town achieving ‘city-like’ goals. The Town experiences distinct stereotyping - most people think of Milton Keynes where simply roundabouts and concrete cows come to mind, however, the location has much greater variety to offer.

Milton Keynes, a planned settlement proudly ‘different by design’ was born from Utopian concepts of determined planners and urban designers. Nonetheless, the settlement is not unique in that it has significant societal and environmental challenges to face including homelessness, climate change and an aging population, often calling into question whether the Utopian ideals from the New Towns inception themselves have led to Dystopian consequences. The location, therefore, epitomises the chosen theme for the 2022 Young Planners’ Conference.

The conference is always a positive and rewarding experience for everyone involved and supports young planners in the early stages of their career development.

Bookings will open here in the summer.

Keep an eye on our social media updates: #YPConf2022

For sponsorship information please contact [email protected]