of British Planning?
for progressive planning in the UK
event was held at the University of Sheffield on July
17, 2007 and was entitled 'What's left of British Planning?'.
on the day is included below. Thanks to all those who
contributed to a very successful and stimulating event.
We had a
very successful meeting and were treated to some excellent
speakers. Cliff Hague, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Association of Planners, opened the morning with some
thoughts about planning and its relationship to global
development and in particular poverty and justice in
developing countries. His 'new planning rap' to close
might make it onto a record label sometime soon!
Head of the Department of Town and Regional Planning
at the University of Sheffield, then inspired us with
an agenda for inspiring hope and belief in the positives
planning can offer while
being tempered with good critical analysis. She offered
thoughts on strategy and how PNUK might best think about
messages to those in power! Perhaps most importantly,
she reminded us that there is power in asking questions,
reframing problems and offering real alternatives even
when it seems hopeless.
Roger Levett, Director of Levett-Therivel Sustainability
Consultants, then treated us to an incisive debunking
of the assumptions and myths underpinning the latest
Planning White Paper. Roger did exactly what Heather
suggested we should do - he reframed the problem into
an alternative language that offered more productive
avenues for critique and the development of real alternatives.
In the afternoon
business session, we had the very great fortune to have
Richard Milgrom from University of Manitoba and former
Chair of Planners Network (North America) with us. Richard
had a conversation with us about how PN operates, the
importance of the local chapters, and the nature of
events and campaigns that PN run. He reflected that
due to geography and scale, PNUK has a great opportunity
to make a real contribution at the national level, something
which PN has more difficulty with, and encouraged us
to pursue that agenda. Richard remains on the Steering
committee of PN, and I (Libby) have also been
elected to that Steering Committee to be a point of
our two networks.
We then discussed
various aspects of 'where to next' for PNUK. The
following list presents some ideas that we talked about:
1. organise an 'alternatives' event on a particular
subject eg housing
renewal pathfinders/anti-demolition event or on any
2. Put on events on key and current issues and attempt
to reach a wider
audience eg an information session on the White Paper?
3. When members (that's YOU!) are attending conferences,
take a set of
PNUK information with you (we can supply posters, fliers
etc) to take
along and spruik with.
4. media strategy and press releases - is this something
we should get into?
5. Use website to link to further information and thoughts/reflections
on Barker, white Paper, other issues. Note - submissions
on the white
Paper are due 7th August. Further emails of encouragement
on that one soon.
6. build an 'alternatives' bibliography (Michael may
do this one).