Events, networking, North West committee

Plan- Your Career with our North West Branch – 8 March

 

Picture1Whether you are a student at the start of your career, or are unsure how to achieve your current career goals, whatever they may be, join Women in Planning North West  for an interactive and practical session on how to develop and progress your career, sponsored by Blayze Group with leading Planning and Recruitment Executives.

Hear from and be inspired by influential women representing both the public and private sectors of the profession (Speakers to be confirmed very shortly), followed by Rob Haslam from Savills and representatives from Blayze leading a session on confidence building and how to achieve what you would you would like to achieve from your career.

Date: 8 March 2018

Time: 18:00 – 20:30

Location: Blayze Group Business Lounge, 53 King Street, Manchester, M2 4LQ

Price: Free but booking is essential.

Click here to book. 

Advertisements
Events

Join us to celebrate a special International Women’s Day in London 08 March 2018

IWD - London 2018

To celebrate international women’s day this year, we thought we would do something a bit different. We, here at the London Branch, wanted to celebrate the amazing work of Suffragettes, so join us as we visit the “Votes for Women” exhibition at Museum of London.

Details

Price: FREE

Date: 08 March 2018
Address: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
Time: 16:00 to 20:00
Start: 16:00: visit exhibition until 18:00 close.
18:00: Meet for a drink at London Wall Bar and Kitchen
Finish: 20:00
Booking: There is no need to book.

If you want to attend, meet us in the foyer of the Museum of London at 16:00. Look for the Women in Planning sign that one of the London Committee will be holding.

If you can’t make the exhibition but want to meet and talk with some amazing women join us for a drink at the London Wall Bar & Kitchen after.

Exhibition details are available at the following link:

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/exhibitions/votes-women

 We look forward to seeing you there!

Article

Leadership in Planning

By Anna Rose,  Head of the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) at Local Government Association

For me, great leaders have vision, the better ones also work hard to make sure that there is a shared understanding of how to make that vision a reality.

This isn’t just true of local government but it is particularly relevant. There are great political and officer leads who can orate their enthusiasm for a firmly held vision to audiences far and wide. Of these leaders there are also some who can engage their own groups and teams. It is critical in local government that there is a shared understanding of how to realise the vision as there are a myriad of differing concerns, priorities and agendas to work with.

So good leadership is about so much more than vision, its effectiveness is reliant on communication. If a local planning authority (LPA) is the delivery arm of a leader’s vision they need to believe in and take responsibility for its delivery. Without this shared understanding the vision is just that, a vision.

This may sound a little philosophical but I worry that ‘leadership’ is a word that is used as frequently as ‘amazing’ and is similarly misused to complement other characteristics or attributes that whilst commendable are not leadership.

For LPA’s, the need for a leader or leaders who have a clear vision is evident. Many local plans are created in the absence of an overall vision for the place that is being planned. Decisions are taken without consideration of a desired outcome for anything other than that application. Is it any wonder that things don’t always go to plan?

If your destination keeps changing, you may get there but it will take a long time and you will travel further. Ring any bells?

For LPAs, it is essential that the political and officer leads articulate a desired outcome from the outset rather than changing this according to the most recent decision or consultation. This does not negate the positive influence of flexibility but it does ensure that there is a point of stability to test any new ideas against. It is the ‘spotting point’ when you are spinning. It is extremely difficult to remember the purpose of a plan or process if an iterative approach to the outcome is taken.

Leaders need to prioritise. Where this is done well it makes a HUGE difference to not only the productivity of the LPA but also the morale and wellbeing of the team. Public services adapt to the situation that they are put in but this can be handled so much better when there is leadership to guide the activity. This is as much about what to continue doing as it is about stopping. Teams that know what is expected of them will take responsibility for delivering it, the opposite is also true.

So, for me, an iterative vision leads to changing priorities and therefore inconsistency. Good leadership works on the basis of no surprises. Honesty and trust is a massive part of this. LPAs with effective leadership know how to deal with issues as they arise as they understand how their leaders wish them to operate. The absence of this understanding is usually built up from a history of inconsistent approaches and decisions at a leadership level. Inconsistency in leadership leads to inconsistency in service delivery.

Inconsistency inside an LPA reflects directly onto the community and customers of the Council. This leads to a poor reputation, built around a lack of trust and confidence. A poor reputation once gained is very hard to lose.

LPAs that know what they are working towards and how to get there are more effective and efficient. They don’t have to spend time searching for the directions. Needless to say – this improves service delivery and saves money.

Responsibility can only be delegated once trust is established. Planners with responsibility have more fulfilment from their role. Good leadership allows for that responsibility to be handed around and a bond of trust is formed. Leaders are stronger when they trust their teams to deliver and teams are stronger when they are trusted.

So yes we need great leaders but let us all commit to using the term responsibly.

Follow Anna on Twitter @EPlanna 

This blog was adapted from a presentation Anna gave at Planning Future‘s talk on leadership in planning.

 

event write up, Events, networking

Thank you for joining Women in Planing and Farrells at our first event of 2018 – 10 January

Thank you to everyone who joined Women in Planning London and Farrells at our first event in the “When Women Plan London” series titled “Unlocking Delivery through good place-making and design” on the 10 January 2017.

We are very pleased that so many of you (circa 70) made it and of course a big thank you to Farrells for hosting and sponsoring the event.

The event was introduced by Rachael Herbert, our Vice Chair of the London Committee.

Sir Terry Farrell CBE, principal of Farrells and Royal Town Planning Institute Gold Medal winner, gave us a presentation on City Making and explained why there was a need for creative and thoughtful spatial and physical planning – not just reactive, policy-led planning.

Rachael Rooney, Strategic Planner Manager of the Greater London Authority, then followed with a presentation on the challenges currently facing London and how the Mayor seeks to combat these through the draft London Plan in terms of good growth principles and the Good Growth by Design Programme and Advocates.

The event topic was then discussed by our esteemed panel:

Led by Chairperson Katerina Karaga, Senior Urban Designer of Farrells.

One the big take homes from the panel discussion was how integral the people/community element is to place-making.

Who is the “place” going to attract and serve? Why are these people critical to the long-term success of the “place” and wider community? And how can the area be best designed to accommodate their existing and future needs?

We look forward to seeing you all at our next event. Details to follow soon.

26758107_2030782240494083_1548117741159010729_o26677844_2030782050494102_5391593944643280965_o26677850_2030781660494141_4840178572074482550_o26685255_2030781840494123_8224745843384183040_o26678669_2030780933827547_4283367158387252224_o26240442_2030780797160894_5700305660386990964_o26240928_2030780983827542_8351895734150056464_o26678631_2030781547160819_4922273604067555373_o

Events

Book now for Unlocking Delivery through place-making and design on 10 January 2017

Women in Planning London invites you to the first event in its “When Women Plan London” series on 10 January 2018 from 4:30pm to 8pm.

The topic for this event is Unlocking delivery through good placemaking and design – The Future of Planning as a creative and collaborative endeavour.

The topic will be addressed by our keynote speakers:

  • Rachael Rooney, Strategic Planner Manager, Greater London Authority; and
  • Sir Terry Farrell CBE, Principal, Farrells

Followed by a discussion by our esteemed panel:

  • Cllr Clare Coghills, Leader, Waltham Forest
  • Clare Hebbes, Head of Place, Public Realm and Infrastructure, Lendlease
  • Vienne King, CEO, Soho Housing
  • Jo Negrini, CEO, Croydon Council
  • Chaired by Katerina Karaga, Senior Urban Designer, Farrells

Book here to join us on the 10th January!

This event is kindly hosted and sponsored by

Article

Celebrating 30 years of the Women’s Design Service

2017 marks 30 years since the formation of the Women’s Design Service. To celebrate this anniversary we have two articles below on the Women’s Design Service and the London Women and Planning Forum. We also have six copies of papers by the Women’s Design Service available below.

Women’s Design Service

pic_20100122_231119-960x943

In the ferment that was the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s all kinds of women’s groups and organisations sprang up:- from the 300 Group working for equal representation in Parliament to Women in Nalgo concerned that unions were not championing women’s issues to the National Abortion Campaign. Similar awakenings were happening in the area of the built environment, with women raising concerns both about women in the various professions and the way that the built environment was largely designed for white able-bodied men.

Women’s Design Service was developed out of the Technical Aid movement. In those days there were many voluntary groups in receipt of grants and many needed help with premises issues. WDS focused on helping the many women’s groups then in London, most of whom were funded by Ken Livingstone’s Greater London Council. WDS worked with all kinds of organisations, advising on planning and structural issues, drawing up plans for improvements and improving accessibility.

When Thatcher government abolished the GLC, many of those groups lost their funding and folded. However from the experience of working with women and hearing about their problems with the built environment, WDS re-invented itself as a research organisation. We investigated all kinds of issues; toilets, transport, creches, parks, housing, offices, tenant participation and running as a thread through all these topics – women’s safety from male violence. This is the period when most of WDS’s publications were produced.

In the early 1990s Women’s Design Service started to assist London Women and Planning Forum (LWPF) by organising public meetings on their behalf and publishing the Forum’s discussions as broadsheets.  Men were welcome at the events, but the policy was always to engage women speakers. Topics included race, disability, routes for women in construction, older women, art, cctv, environment and many other issues that were topical in that particular time. After every event a broadsheet was produced (in print, no internet in those days!) and some of these are still available.

In 2001 WDS was facing ever more severe funding problems, and it looked as if the organisation might have to close. At that point the LWPF was handed over to Queen Mary University of London where Alison Blunt in the Geography Dept. continued to chair the group until it lapsed a few years ago.

It was in 2002 that I came in as Director, and given the ongoing loss of grant funding to the voluntary sector started to build WDS up as more of a social enterprise, offering consultancy with our Making Safer Places project and on the Gender Equality Duty. Trustees agreed to leave LWPF with Queen Mary’s although WDS continued to be an active member. Many highly informative and productive events were organised during those years with an emphasis on bringing together academics, practitioners and users.

More information on WDS led projects, events and publications can be found here http://www.wds.org.uk/projects_current.html

Women Design Service Booklet 

Wendy Davis was a founding member of the Women Design Service and a Director from 2002 -2008

London Women and Planning Forum

Discussions on gender and planning have been on the urban agenda for a long time.

Early examples include gender specific policies of the Greater London Council (GLC) Women’s Committee, academic research on gender bias in built environment and RTPI’s planning advice note on Planning for Women. Similarly, discussions have also focussed around how planning policies and practice affect women’s lives, and how planning departments can be more representative of the population they serve.

It is important to touch upon this rich history in the WiP blogs. It is our history and it is important to remember the pioneers. This will also remind us how much progress we, the planning community, achieved (or not) on gender issues in planning over the last 30-40 years.

One group who committed time and effort to gender issues in 1990s was the London Women and Planning Forum, a network for women planners and planning students who were interested in discussing a wide range of planning issues from a gender perspective.

The group were meeting roughly four times a year to discuss women and planning issues, identify good practice and provide support and advice to women planners. The meetings often had challenging and thought-provoking presentations followed by discussions, and attracted a wide audience with people working in local authorities and academia, as well as other sectors and community organisations concerned with planning and equality issues.

The support from the Women’s Design Service (see our previous blog on WDS) played a crucial role in keeping the Forum going. In fact, the Forum probably would not have survived so long if it didn’t come under the WDS umbrella.

Meeting notes were published as Broadsheets by the WDS. The topics included designing out crime, town centres, planning education, housing and women’s position in planning departments. You have to bear in mind that the discussions and views in these Broadsheets are a reflection of the social, political and planning context more than 20 years ago. Some of the views and solutions may feel out of date or not relevant anymore. But you will also find that some of the issues and challenges discussed then are still relevant.

In 2001, LWPF came under the umbrella of Queen Mary University of London where Alison Blunt in the Geography Department continued to chair the group involving academics, practitioners and users.

You will find below a selection of the Broadsheets as records of London Women and Planning Forums discussions and presentations. We feel it is important that this history is not lost. We are where we are because of views and actions of many women before us who committed time and effort to make life better for those who experience inequality in the built environment. We leave it to you to decide how much, if any, progress has been made since the Forum put these issues on the agenda of the planning community in London and beyond over 20 years ago.

Author Dr Sule Nisancioglu is a member of Women in Planning –  London Branch

View some of the London Women and Planning Forum Broadsheets below:

  1.  Women as Planners – Is More Better
  2. Breaking down the barriers for Women
  3. Are Town Centres Managing?
  4. Gender issues within planning education
  5. Designing out Crime?
  6. Policy planning and development control – how can they work together to benefit women in the planning process

 

event write up, Women in Planning Official

5 years of making Women visible in Planning

Image may contain: 10 people

On Monday evening, 4th December 2017, Women in Planning celebrated its 5th anniversary with a Christmas drinks reception, kindly sponsored by GVA and Osborne Richardson.

In her speech, our co-founder, Charlotte Morphet, reflected on the success of our last 5 years and set out the future direction of our network and where we see the role of women in planning. Charlotte reflected on the reason for setting up the network which was to make women visible in the planning world, noting that;

“Alison Mackay and I were looking for a networking forum that would work for us. We noticed at so many events most of the speakers and attendees were male, which we thought was strange because we knew there were lots of women working in planning.” 

Over the past 5 years, the network has achieved a great deal including an incredible ‘Proud of Women’ series of events which actively sought to make women working in planning at senior levels more visible and act as role models for women starting in the industry.

2017 has been an especially good year for us with the addition of two new Branches, one in South Wales, which launched in November 2017, and another launching in January 2018 in the North West of England.

Over the next 5 years, Women in Planning will be focusing on:

  • further growth across the UK with additional branches;
  • growing and diversify our membership base making sure it represents all women working in planning and development, at every level of their career;
  • creating a network which will empower and support our leading women so that the days of an all-male expert panel or leadership board are behind us;
  • creating a forum that provides for our members to make meaningful social and business connections and encourage them to share and support each other’s ambitions;
  • influence positive change in the workplace through targeted research, information sharing and membership surveys. We realise that greater efforts need to be made to strive for equality in the workplace, especially in terms of both pay and promotion. This starts with a better understanding of the industry baseline and what our members feel are the issues.

We thank you for being a part of our journey, whenever you may have joined and look forward to seeing you at our events in 2018. From all of us on the committee, thank you for your continued support. Seasons greetings.