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Celebrating 150 members who joined over 50 years ago

This year we celebrate over 150 members who have been with us for 50 years. The RTPI Membership team is proud to recognise this special group of people. It’s no secret that our members and volunteers are the ones who make the Institute what it is today and with more than 27,000 members worldwide, we’re incredibly proud of those who represent us. We love celebrating the achievements of our members and volunteers and it’s so important for us to recognise their hard work and loyalty to the RTPI and the planning profession.

Stories from our members:

Catherine Gillespie MRTPI (Rtd) 

I had deliberately chosen an approved post graduate degree (a Master’s of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool), that would enable me to obtain membership after two years of working as a planner. It seemed obvious that given the professional support provided by the Institute, membership was essential for the furtherance of my career.

I emigrated to Australia in 1990 and continued working as a local and then a State government planner upon arrival. My qualifications, RTPI membership and local government work experience in England helped me easily gain a professional planning position in local government in NSW. 

By participating in professional development activities such as seminars, lectures, and workshops both locally and overseas I easily met the requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) for the RTPI. This gave me wide ranging opportunities to network with other planners and other professionals which was most beneficial, as well as keeping up-to-date on trends and new policies.

Undoubtedly the most memorable event of my membership of the RTPI was an opportunity to take part in a RTPI town planning delegation to China under the auspices of the People-to-People Ambassador Programs in 1998. This provided me with an invaluable insight into so many aspects of life in China: the impacts of major infrastructure projects on local communities (the Three Gorges Dam, then under construction), rural development in remote Lanzhou province, high rise housing projects in Hong Kong and the Pudong development area of Shanghai. 

Personally, I am proud to have been a member of the RTPI for fifty years even if most of my career has been spent in Australia and not the UK.  It has certainly helped me to bring a level of professionalism and knowledge to my work and enabled me to work easily with a range of other professionals. 

Peter Kuit MRTPI (Rtd)

I first became interested in 'town planning' at age 15 and I obtained a BSc.(Hons) Geography from Birkbeck College in 1969, a self-funded MSc. (Urban &  Regional Planning) from the LSE in 1970. After my first planning job with Liverpool City Council (1970/71) I studied, again self-funded, for a MCD from 1971 till 1973 from Liverpool University thus becoming eligible for full RTPI membership.

Perhaps my most rewarding time as a 'pure planner' came between 1974 and 1979 at Newcastle City Council's Planning department where I held roles included City Centre Principle Planning Officer dealing with major schemes. Up until a couple of years ago I was also a member of the RTPI North West Branch Regional Affairs sub-committee. On the committee I led work on a survey of North West planning authorities to test whether worthwhile development was being held back because of under funding of the planning service. I also enjoyed being a long-standing member of the Annual Regional Planning Awards team. 

David Brooke, MRTPI(Rtd) 

My first reaction is, "50-year membership - that's half a century!", but it also means that I feel just as strongly now as when I became a town planner all those years ago that planning is about making places better for everyone; and that the RTPI is pivotal in making that happen.  In a professional life spent in local and central government, I hope I have contributed in a small but enthusiastic way to the wider picture. What an under-valued profession we are.


Thinking about joining RTPI

With over 27,000 members worldwide and more than 100 years of history, the RTPI is at the forefront of planning. Our members abide by the highest professional and ethical standards, which mean employers, clients and the wider public trust them. The RTPI is an advocate for best practice in planning at all levels of government and in the international arena. We give planners a voice in shaping the planning system.

We offer a membership class to suit you at all stages of your career – from student, graduate, mid-career to retirement. Find out more about membership here or contact our Membership team [email protected]


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