The Things I Know - Lynda Addison

Lynda Addison, Director, Addison & Associates and visiting professor at the University of Westminster.

Lynda Addison
Lynda Addison

- Where did you study?

I gained an external London degree in geography at Portsmouth Polytechnic and a planning diploma at the Polytechnic of Central London.

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

The ability to think about places in relation to both history and people, plus research and evaluation skills.

- What attracted you to planning?

My first job was doing research for the Royal Commission on Local Government. The civil service paid for me to undertake a planning course. From there I became a planning assistant in Camden and decided I had made the right decision.

- What did you learn in your first job?

How to use census and other data. I also realised the complexity of local government functions and of defining a structure that meets the needs of a wide variety of places.

- What skills have you had to learn over your career?

How to manage complex projects and large organisations, deal with professions, politicians and local people and how to solve problems.

- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?

I have been lucky to work with people who taught me what to do and what not to do over a range of projects.

- What is your career highlight?

Being one of the first women to be a director of planning, gaining an OBE, having a key role in South Bank Walk, Butlers Wharf regeneration, Harrow's heritage initiative and the Hounslow High Street pedestrianisation.

- What have you learned outside work that has influenced you?

Patience, flexibility and the need to think positively.

- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?

To enhance my ability to support and influence the way that planners can respond to climate change.

- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?

Essential. I think we all need to work together to achieve the changes required in the foreseeable future.

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