'Radical' young planners' collective launches manifesto

A 'radical' collective of young public sector planners has launched its manifesto calling for 'a bolder future for public planning'.

Members of RIG in a debate with NOVUS at the Planning Officers' Society's spring conference
Members of RIG in a debate with NOVUS at the Planning Officers' Society's spring conference

NOVUS introduced the one-page document at the Planning Officers’ Society’s spring conference on Friday afternoon.

The group describes itself as "a new collective of public servants working at the coalface of public planning". It aims to be a forum for promoting their ideas to influence debate and government policy.

The manifesto, described by NOVUS as "a first step towards some answers", lists 10 points, including a pledge to make "the fairest decisions for all, not the most profitable decisions for a few".

It also promises to give "citizens the knowledge and tools to shape their environment", to come up with "grounded ideas" and to communicate directly with the public by excluding jargon from its future publications.

A further call is for creativity in planning and to reclaim bureaucracy as "a positive force for equality".

The group is open to public sector planners only, saying that working in the sector should "be seen as a privilege" and it needs to "attract the best talent".

The manifesto launch was marked by a debate between NOVUS representatives with former members of the Radical Institute Group (RIG), which tried to revolutionise the Royal Town Planning Institute (RPTI) in the 1970s.

RIG viewed planning as a promoter of social, economic and environmental equality, including gender equality and racial diversity, and campaigned against the closure of university planning schools in the 1980s.

Its leading members included Planning blogger, academic and former RTPI president Cliff Hague.

In a statement, NOVUS said: "If RIG was the last time planning was radical, NOVUS are now picking up the baton."

NOVUS’ Twitter feed including its manifesto can be found here.

To contact the group, email: publicplanners@gmail.com.

john.geoghegan@haymarket.com


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