Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Young Planners

The latest issue of The Planner, the trade magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute was dedicated to the place of young planners in the profession. I have previously blogged about how their views should take precedence over those of older planners who have clearly failed to do the job of helping create environments in town and country suited to the conditions of the 21st century.  Dismay would understate my reaction to the survey made of the opinions of ypung p[lanners and provoked me to write the folowing letter,

"The search for what is wrong with planning  and its future need go no  further than the snap survey reported in The Planner October 2015.  In the answer to “What do you hope to achieve as a planner?” only 32% hoped to ‘encourage social, environmental, and economic wellbeing’ (ie sustainable development), and only 10% hoped to ‘create a sustainable world’. These could be taken as  measures of realism about the limitations on the role of planners, or it could be that, at a very early stage of their careers, a large majority of planners have abandoned  even the hope of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development (ie a duty under s39(2) of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act), and enabling development that would benefit from the presumption in the NPPF."

I don't know the size of the sample or other details that skew the results of a survey but I have to assume that the RTPI/The Planner  expected the readers to give weight to the results.  The most shocking aspect of this result is that the presumption in favour of sustainable development is the only presumption in planning policy and even the 2010/2015 coalition government described this a golden thread running through decision-taking and plan-making.  For young planners to have abandoned hope of doing what is a principal if not the paramount part of their job specification in either public or private sectors suggests that employers and clients  must be exerting undue influence over these young professionals who should be free and able to carry out their job to enable sustainable development to take place.

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