Assistant Town Planner/Urban Designer, Government of Hong Kong SAR
Inspired by a renowned computer simulation game from my childhood days, I had the somewhat unconventional thought of becoming a planner from a very young age. My first taste of practical spatial planning experience came during my year-long placement with RPS Group, where I was a trainee planner responsible for the handling of planning applications and appeal cases, alongside some development plan monitoring workload. I subsequently gained a First Class Honours degree in City and Regional Planning and a Distinction in Master of Urban Design from Cardiff University, and made a bold decision to return to my birthplace of Hong Kong in a quest to broaden my horizons.
[pictured above: Steven Siu with his mentor, Senior Town Planner Yam Sang Lee]
Having acquired previous experiences in the private sector, I was eager to learn the ropes from the other side of the spectrum, and eventually joined the Hong Kong Government's Planning Department as a graduate town planner. I benefited enormously from this two-year graduate training programme, which had exposed me to a range of development control, forward planning and urban design workload. As of November 2011, I have joined the Planning Department on a permanent basis as an assistant town planner/ urban designer.
My tips for upcoming candidates are:
- Be proactive – although there are certain confines within each organisational setup, there is always scope to seek out other workload to broaden your spatial planning experiences. My Practical Experience Statement (PES) would hardly be as extensive if I had limited my exposure to my routine work
- Think in other people's shoes – appreciating other stakeholders' viewpoints can often yield alternative solutions, or even better solutions, in resolving deadlocks. This was very much the basis of my reflections in my Professional Competence Statement (PCS)
- Paint the picture – for overseas Licentiates, it is often useful to briefly, but succinctly, explain the local planning system in which you are operating in. Not only would it help the assessors to appreciate the institutional framework for your PCS case studies, it is also a useful means to illustrate your understanding of the wider context
Please note: To stay fit for purpose, L-APC requirements do change over time. For the most up to date advice please always refer to the L-APC Guidance on the Licenitate APC webpage. Candidate details provided here are current at time of L-APC submission in 2012.