London outlines year's ambitions

The capital's young planners aim to lift their profile to ensure that their views are heard, Louise Bolton finds.

After a successful launch last year, the London young planners' network has even bigger ambitions for 2009. To help it continue going from strength to strength, a steering group has been established.

The members are Laura Smith, a senior planner at the Landscape Partnership, who also represents London on the young planners' network advisory group, Sara Eustace from DTZ, Robyn Blackburn from Planning Potential and Rebecca Beer from Urban Initiatives.

One of the group's most important functions will be to organise professional and social events, at which all young planners are welcome. It will also liaise with the regional and national RTPI networks, ensuring that the views of London's young planners are heard and championed in a wider context.

Last year, a number of successful events were organised that were aimed specifically at chartered members, licentiates and student members under the age of 35. This included a quiz night sponsored by recruitment company Judd Farris. Of the 20 teams that entered, Colin Buchanan came out on top.

Later in the year the network teamed up with the South East young planners and the East of England young planners for a walking tour of regeneration projects in Southwark, including Elephant and Castle and the Aylesbury Estate. This was led by Urban Initiatives planning director Jonathan Bore.

The final event of 2008, sponsored by DTZ, was designed to provide licentiates with advice on the assessment of professional competence. It was attended by some 85 young planners.

Both the quiz night and licentiate event will be repeated this year. In addition, a seminar is being organised with a panel of young professionals to discuss the delivery of development in the current uncertain economy. The details and timings are still being finalised.

The steering group welcomes comments on any issues of interest to young planners. If you have any ideas for a future event or would like to get involved in organising one, please get in touch with a group representative or visit the young planners' section of the RTPI website.

Louise Bolton is London young planners' page editor. For more information on the London young planners' network, please email Laura Smith at laura.smith@london.tlp.uk.com or Robyn Blackburn at robyn.blackburn@planningpotential.co.uk. The group is just one in the wider young planners' network. These groups organise their own events according to local needs and interests. For more information, please visit www.rtpi.org.uk/young_planners_network.


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