I'm having second thoughts about writing and posting this because of the terrible events at the Glasgow School of Art this afternoon.
But, I feel I should. There's been a wee bit of a hoo-ha in planning circles, much of which I agree with. A group called NOVUS/Public Planners has developed, and you can read their manifesto here. On a mailing list of a progressive planning network I'm a member of - Planners Network UK - we were discussing how we might make links with them. If you want to join the list you can quite easily through the JISC service. I chipped into this debate saying that the Public Planners was an excellent development, and it's something that I've seen in my own students as they question why planning has to be in constant hock to development interests and solely about enabling development, no matter how bad it is, or "sustainable economic growth".
The rest of this post is going to be a blogpost I put on the virtual learning environment for one of the courses I teach. I didn't make it more public as I didn't want to incur the wrath of the Royal Town Planning Institute. I'm now minded to post it here, firstly because of Public Planners raising the profile of progressive planning; secondly because I have now resigned from the RTPI myself. And lastly, because I received an anonymous email alleging that the RTPI had investigated a member for breach of the code of conduct because they were involved in activism around progressive planning. This final alleged incident makes me ashamed I was ever even a member of the RTPI, and make me very angry at their "proud of planning, proud of planners" nonsense.
So, here goes. Here's the post I wrote for my students. Quite a number of them came up to me in the weeks after posting it to say thank you to me for writing it, and saying they wholly agreed with what I was saying. So thank you to those students.