A conference at the University of Birmingham on 22 March, 2018 on “Planning Challenges in the Commonwealth” was the venue for the UK launch of the book “Leading Change”
My co-authored book, “Leading Change: Delivering the New Urban Agenda through Urban and Territorial Planning” had its UK launch at the conference “Think Planning – Think Global”. The conference was part of the run-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April. Speakers at the half-day event in Birmingham focused on how planning skills are being used to tackle major global issues – rapid urbanisation, poverty and climate change. Case study examples were presented from Sierra Leone, South Africa and the Caribbean. Speakers included Clive Harridge, PPRTPI, secretary-general of the Commonwealth Association of Planners, Dr.Lauren Andres from the University of Birmingham, and speakers from Arcadis LLP, HTA Design LLP, and One World Link, who have been working with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Commiunities to develop a toolkit to help plan for urban expansion.
My own contribution was to launch the Leading Change book, which can be downloaded here. The publication was supported by UN-Habitat, the South African Local Government Association and the South African Department of Human Settlements, and was presented at the recent World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur. It supplements the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning that were issued by UN-Habitat in 2015, and were the work of an international expert group of planners and designers led by former Commonwealth Association of Planners President Christine Platt. Leading Change challenges planners to rethink and reprioritise their practices to address 21st century issues. It includes several mini-case studies from different parts of the world, including the UK, that show how planning is being reinvented in exciting ways.