The 2017 Wales Planning Conference held on 8 June 2017, was RTPI Cymru's tenth and our Chair, Alan Southerby took time to look back at what has changed during the last ten years in planning in Wales using our top ten countdown.
Looking both forward and to the past was Rosemary Thomas, former Chief Planner at the Welsh Government, who took the opportunity to highlight the challenges facing planners and encouraged all to take these on. Then looking further afield, Jason Jordan of the American Planning Association considered where there were similarities between planning in the USA and Wales; many of the issues and challenges were very similar.
Building on the RTPI's Value of Planning programme, a study is underway to look at the value of planning in Wales and Michael Harris, spoke about the reasons for this and provide an update on the study.
The Conference programme included a number of breakout seminars - always a popular part of the programme - on a range of topics.
The afternoon session, chaired by RTPI Chief Executive, Trudi Elliott, looked to the future. RTPI President, Stephen Wilkinson, highlighted the value of planning and planners and the need for a strong profession to raise to challenges. Will Ryan of Savills, asked whether Wales was punching above its weight in terms of energy. Sticking with the energy theme and taking the opportunity to showcase early researchers, the Conference heard from Laura Norris on the development of marine energy in Wales and highlighting the value of social capital to develop innovation - a lesson for the planning profession.
The Conference was finished with the popular speed briefings, hearing from winners of the Wales Planning Award 2016, including Llyr Beaumont Jones of Gwynedd Council on Plas Heli, Simon Gale, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council on Ponty Lido and Jon Hurley of WYG on The Tramshed.