Public Practice announces 39 new professionals to take up one-year council and GLA planning placements

Social enterprise Public Practice has announced a fourth cohort of built environment professionals to undertake one-year placements in local authority planning and regeneration teams.

Some of the fourth Public Practice cohort taking part in a virtual meeting. Pic: Public Practice
Some of the fourth Public Practice cohort taking part in a virtual meeting. Pic: Public Practice

Public Practice announced last week that 39 associates are due to start industry-funded placements between now and June across 22 authorities, including London boroughs, district councils and the Greater London Authority.

The social enterprise said the latest call for applications to join the programme received record levels of interest from both potential associates and authorities.

According to Public Practice, a total of 308 built environment practitioners applied – 90 per cent from outside the public sector- and more than 70 organisations submitted expressions of interest to host associates.

Following last week's announcement of the fourth cohort, the total number of placements has reached 123 associates across 42 authorities over the first two years of the programme. Of this Public Practice alumni, 89 per cent continue to work in the public sector, the organisation said.

As part of their work, Public Practice said its associates are helping councils to adopt remote working practices and to adapt projects in response to the lockdown, with some directly aiding frontline efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Finn Williams, co-founder and chief executive officer of Public Practice, said: “Over the last few weeks we’ve witnessed the extraordinary strengths of local government through our network of associates and authorities.

"We’ve also seen an unprecedented shift in public and political opinion about the value of public service. The answer to this crisis cannot be further austerity – we need to reward councils for their role in the response to COVID-19, and strengthen their capacity to lead a national recovery.

“Public Practice is committed to supporting authorities to develop the capacities and capabilities they need for these new challenges. Now, more than ever, we see the value in planning proactively to rebuild the resilience of local communities and economies.”

Public Practice said 18 per cent of associates in the Spring 2020 cohort come from a BAME background, while 72 per cent are women.

The associates who make up the fourth cohort of associates are:

  • Silvia Amoros, principal regeneration and landscape officer at the London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Merve Anil, projects officer (policy), Epping Forest District Council
  • Rosa Appleby Alis, principal urban designer, Oxford City Council
  • Archie Bashford, senior design officer, Thurrock Council
  • Sophie Beagle, London Borough of Ealing, principal regeneration officer
  • Raul Bielsa Perez, urban designer, St Albans Council
  • Jessica Cargill Thompson, community engagement officer, London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Nicola Coppen, infrastructure coordinator, Westminster City Council
  • Peter Croft, principal urban designer, Dartford Council
  • Sarah Custance, masterplan project manager, London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Georgie Day, economic development project officer, London Borough of Enfield
  • Lucy Devereux, town centre project officer, London Borough of Barnet
  • Abre Etteh, Urban Design and Development Officer, London Borough of Merton
  • Paul Evans, strategic masterplanner, Bedford Borough Council
  • Louisa Facchino-Stack, urban design project officer, London Borough of Hounslow,
  • Aranzasu Fernandez Rangel, regeneration project manager, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Leonie Fitzgerald, senior architect, housing development and estate renewal, London Borough of Enfield
  • Tilly Ford, sustainability advisor, London Borough of Enfield
  • Ellen Hadden, principal urban design officer, London Borough of Havering
  • Zahra Haider, regeneration and development architectural assistant, London Borough of Enfield
  • Andrea Jung, regeneration manager, London Borough of Newham
  • Tamara Kahn, central area design guidance officer, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Lauren Kehoe, principal urban design officer, London Borough of Hounslow
  • Silvia Kerste, sustainable business engagement officer, London Borough Barnet
  • Helen Markides, infrastructure data and innovation lead, GLA
  • Mina Manik, programme management officer, London Borough of Newham
  • Krishan Nathaniel, design officer, London Borough of Harrow
  • Claudia Nicolini, Principal Planning Officer (Implementation), Epping Forest District Council
  • Shamiso Onek, urban design officer, London Borough of Haringey Sean Rushton, strategic masterplanner, East Herts District Council
  • Rosie Sargen, landscape and ecology officer, Epping Forest District Council
  • Katherine Spence, place shaping officer, Westminster City Council
  • Jonathan Watson, infrastructure delivery officer, GLA
  • Dorothee Woollard, infrastructure coordinator, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Public Practice was founded in 2017 in a bid to build local authority capacity to engage in "proactive planning". The organisation recruits built environment professionals, including planners, architects and urban designers, for one-year placements within councils and other public sector organisations.

Funding is provided by participating authorities and from organisations including developer British Land, government-backed think-tank Connected Places Catapult, heritage watchdog Historic England, Karakusevic Carson Architects, housing associations L&Q and Peabody, umbrella body the Local Government Association, the mayor of London, and the housebuilder Berkeley Group.

The third wave of cohorts was announced in October 2019 and the second wave in April 2019.


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