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The Planner's Women of Influence 2018

Words: The Planner
Women of influence

Chief execs, council leaders, top notch barristers and professional planners doing a great job, day-in, day-out – women are becoming increasingly influential across planning and the built environment professions. But who are they and what are they doing to shape the sector? Here's The Planner's Women of Influence, as suggested by you.

Who do you think are the most influential women in planning, both nationally and internationally, today? To mark International Women's Day 2018 on Thursday 8 March, we want to add to the list you helped us compile in 2016 and 2017.

We're looking for the women who work in or around planning who you would consider to be influential in some way. Perhaps they have inspired you as a role model; perhaps they have compiled a substantial body of work; perhaps they have worked on important projects; perhaps they have contributed to the planning debate, either through academic work, journalism or appearances at conferences and seminars; perhaps they have risen to important/influential positions; perhaps they have helped to shape planning policy or planning law; perhaps they work on national and international campaigns that are improving understanding of and access to the built environment.

We're particularly looking for:

  • more women from the legal sector
  • women from the media (writers and journalists have a considerable role to play in informing, persuading and cajoling)
  • more women from outside London and in the UK regions (including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • more women who are working and influencing approaches to planning internationally
  • more influential women working in private sector planning, particularly for the big consultancies
  • more women in politics, whether local, regional or national, who are influencing planning policy.

A note about how we compile the list

The Planner's Women of Influence is not intended to be a competitive or ranked list – its aim is simply to highlight the breadth, depth and quality of work that women do in planning and the built environment, once a year on International Women's Day. It's crowdsourced and reflects suggestions Tweeted and emailed to us by you; thus far we haven't set strict criteria or run a nomination process – but this may change in future! We'd be happy to hear your feedback.

Send your suggestions:

Image | Shutterstock

Public sector

Including local authorities, central government bodies, other public bodies (incl development corporations and development agencies), politicians.

NEW: Pooja Agrawal – co-founder of Public Practice, placing talented planners into local government for the public good. Pooja wrote for us about how we can improve perception of public sector planning.

Deirdra Armsby – director of planning and regeneration for the London Borough of Newham, overseeing substantial change in one of the most challenging boroughs in the country.

Joanna Averley MRTPI – director of Urban Thinkers Ltd, strategic manager for Crossrail 2 at Transport for London, Mayor of London design advocate. Former director at GVA, deputy chief executive of CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and formerly interim chief executive for Centre for Cities. Exceedingly accomplished.

Kim Boal - planning officer, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, chair of organising committee for 2016 young planners’ conference in Belfast, young planner lead on RTPI Northern Ireland committee. Kim shared her thoughts on leadership with The Planner.

Michèle Dix CBE – chief executive of Crossrail 2, formerly managing director of planning for Transport for London. Oversaw the introduction of congestion charging, led strategic thinking on London’s future transport needs, now charged with steering Crossrail 2 from drawing board to construction.

Pam Ewen MRTPI – head of planning for Fife Council, former strategic head for the highly-regarded TAYplan, former convenor of the RTPI in Scotland, event speaker and specialist in working with communities. Pam told us how she would change the Scottish planning system.

Rachel Fisher –  head of infrastructure (cities and local growth) at the MHCLG, former head of policy for the National Housing Federation and an influential campaigner for affordable housing in England. We've spoken to Rachel about planning and the property industry.

Annie Hampson OBE MRTPI – chief planning officer for the City of London, with responsibility for all development, design, heritage, conservation and enforcement in the Square Mile.

Helen Hayes MP MRTPI – Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, founder of Urban Practitioners, sits on the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee. High profile supporter of equality and continues to argue the case for a second EU referendum.  We interviewed Helen in 2015.

Kate Henderson – chief executive of the TCPA, contributor to the 2014 Independent Lyons Housing Review, among other policy panels, visiting professor at the Bartlett School, co-author of Rebuilding Britain: Planning for a better future. Kate has written for The Planner on how to transform planning to England's benefit.

Victoria Hills MRTPI – incoming chief executive of the RTPI; formerly chief executive of the Old Oak and Royal Park Development Corporation; former head of transport at the Greater London Authority.

Amy Lamé – writer, performer, broadcaster, LGBT campaigner, now the Mayor of London's Night Czar charged with turning the capital into a successful 24-hour city. We interviewed Amy about her role in March 2018.

"I’ve worked on the front line of night-time industry for my whole career. It’s in my blood" Amy Lamé






Dr Pauleen Lane CBE – group manager for infrastructure at the Planning Inspectorate (PINS); former Mayor of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, civil engineer now guiding projects of national significance.

Monica Lennon MSP MRTPI – Labour shadow cabinet secretary for communities in the Scottish Parliament, chartered planner and RTPI member, with professional experience in both the public and private sectors. Monica gave us her views on the planning review in Scotland in September 2017.

Alice Lester MBE MRTPI –  head of planning, transport and licensing at Brent Council; formerly (for 11 years) head of the Planning Advisory Service; awarded MBE for services to planning in 2016.

Helen MacNamara - director general for housing and planning at the MHCLG. Formerly at DCMS and principal private secretary to Tessa Jowell. Worked on the Olympic bid, now closely involved with housing strategy and local planning.

Adele Maher MRTPI – strategic planning manager for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, leading policy, urban design and conservation in a challenging borough. Active RTPI member and regular speaker at events. Adele told us how she would change the English planning system.

Fiona McCandless – chief planner for Northern Ireland, overseeing the transformation of planning in NI. We interviewed Fiona in 2014.

NEW: Juliemma McLoughlin – assistant director of planning for the Greater London Authority; formerly director of planning at Hammersmith and Fulham where she worked on high profile schemes including the Earl's Court and White City redevelopments, as well as Chelsea FC's new stadium.

Iram Mohammed MRTPI – major assets team leader for East Dunbartonshire Council. Former RTPI trustee and chair membership and ethics committee. Board director for Planning Aid Scotland, active organiser in built environment circles.

NEW: Sadie Morgan – commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission, newly appointed chair of design panel for the NIC, director of drMM architects

Alison Nimmo MRTPI and RTPI Gold Medal winner – chief executive of the Crown Estate and one of the UK’s foremost regeneration experts, responsible for delivering the Olympic Park. We interviewed Alison in 2015.

Alison Nimmo, Crown Estate“Jacques Rogge opened the envelope and life would never be the same again. It was “an opportunity to create a whole new piece of city. You get that very, very few times in life” Alison Nimmo




NEW: Grainne O'Rourke – executive head of governance and regulation at New Forest District Council, her brief includes housing, planning and estates.

Liz Peace – outspoken former chief executive of the British Property Federation, now non-exec director for a variety of planning and property consultancies, and trustee of Peabody, the London housing association.

NEW: Claire Pearce – chief planner for Sedgemoor District Council and project director for Hinkley Point C nuclear power stations;, as well as group manager for strategy and development at the council; leads a high-performing team rising to demanding challenges. Claire wrote about nuclear for The Planner back in 2015.

Terry Prendergast – planning lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology, senior planner with the Grangegorman Development Agency, which has redeveloped the Grangegorman Campus; winner of the Irish Planning Institute’s President’s award in 2014.

Sarah Richards - chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate; formerly strategic director of regeneration, housing and resources at Slough Borough Council.

Anna Rose MRTPI – head of the Planning Advisory Service since 2017, formerly director of planning and transport for Milton Keynes and vice-president of the Planning Officers Society. We spoke to Anna in December 2017 about growth, good performance and female role models.

"Talking to a peer about how to turn things around is better than somebody writing a critical report that becomes public" Anna Rose







NEW: Bridget Roswell OBE – commissioner for the National Infrastucture Commission, former chief economic adviser to the Greater London Authority.

Lucy Seymour-Bowdery MRTPI –  senior planning officer at the MHCLG with a specialism in housing for the elderly and disabled; contributed to the draft NPPF; current young planner trustee on the RTPI Board of Trustees. Lucy was the ead organiser of the 2015 young planners' conference and has written for us about how to make planning accessible to young people.

Fiona Simpson MRTPI – assistant chief planner for the Scottish government, integral to the process of reforming the Scottish National Planning Framework.

NEW: Amanda Smyth – assistant director of district development at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Emma Williamson – assistant director of planning at the London Borough of Haringey.

NEW: Judith Winters MRTPI – chief enforcement officer for Antrim & Newtownabbey District Council.

NEW: Helen Wood MRTPI – assistant chief planner for the Scottish government.

Private sector

Sue Bridge MRTPI  former head of planning for Northampton, now an independent consultant and RTPI corporate trustee. Vast experience of private and public sector planning, and cited as an inspiration by other women in planning.

NEW: Abigaile Bromfield MRTPI – associate director and planning manager for Arup in the Midlands, fomer lead policy adviser to the Cabinet Office on housing.

Louise Brooke-Smith MRTPIformer president of RICS (Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors), the first women to be appointed to the role; founder of Brooke Smith Planning, bought by Arcadis in 2017, former vice chair of the National Planning Forum; regular speaker at planning and property conferences, advocate for the advancement of women in property. We interviewed Louise in April 2016.

Sarah Cary MRTPI  freshly appointed executive director, regeneration and environment, for the London Borough of Enfield; formerly head of sustainable places for British Land, responsible for corporate social and environmental reporting. Planning PhD and practitioner.

NEW: Susan Claris MRTPI – associate director in the Transport Consulting Group at Arup; trustee of Living Streets; writer for The Planner.

NEW: Kim Cooper MRTPI – town planner with Arup, junior vice chair of RTPI North West RTPI and sits on the RTPI General Assembly. She chaired the organising committee for the 2017 Young Planners' Conference in Manchester, included on the Top 50 Future list for the Northern Power Women Awards. Kim's also written for The Planner.

"The importance of self-championing, using the networks and opportunities around us to springboard our careers, should not be understated" Kim Cooper






NEW: Sara Dilmamode MRTPI – founder of Citiesmode and Planning TV

Ros Dunn independent consultant, chair of the South Kilburn Trust, former chief executive of the Thames Gateway London Partnership.

Emma Fletcher managing director of SmithsonHill, a a partnership of a landowner and developer focused on cutting edge agribusiness projects in Cambridge; former property director at Marshall Group, and former president of the Cambridge University Land Society. Engaged in the ongoing physical and economic development of Cambridge.

Zoe Green MRTPI – manager, urbanisation and development for PwC, former RTPI young planner of the year, organiser of an annual World Town Planning Day debate in London, regular contributor to the Global Urbanist and The Planner, and mentor to planning students.

Liane Hartley – independent consultant with Mend London and founder of Urbanistas, the influential women in property network. Liane has also co-founded an ethical employment and recruitment agency, Source Social Value, and has written for The Planner.

NEW: Jane Healey Brown FRTPI – head of planning, policy and economics at Arup Manchester, which she helped establish; active in the RTPI; former housing commissioner for Greater Manchester Authorities; involved in creation of Greater Manchester Spatial Framework; recently elected Fellow of the RTPI.

NEW: Helen Harrison MRTPI – director, Juno Planning and Environmental

Cristina Howick – partner with Peter Brett Associates and an economist before turing to planning. Opinionated and with much to say about local planning, particularly the need for a standardized method for calculating housing need, an alternative to the Local Plans Expert Group method. Cristina wrote about the 2017 housing white paper for us.

Dale Ingram - founder of Planning for Pubs, consultant to the licensed leisure and historic building sectors, former pub protection officer for the Campaign for Real Ale.

NEW: Dr Mary Keeling – Smart cities expert with IBM. We intereviewed her in 2017.

Emma Lancaster MRTPI – RTPI young planner of the year for 2016-17, an associate at Quod in Leeds and chair of RTPI Yorkshire. Emma shared her thoughts on a variety of planning issues with us.

Liz Loughran MRTPI – founder of Line Planning, former legal adviser to Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London.

Sandra Manson MRTPI – director of planning for WYG in Newcastle, formerly a vital cog in building the successful Signet Planning. An RTPI ambassador who works in schools inspiring the next generation of planners. Sandra told The Planner about her own journey from admin assistant to planning director.

NEW Lesley McVeigh MRTPI – assistant strategic land and planning manager with Taylor Wimpey in Glasgow; chair of Scottish Young Planners' Network; sits on Scottish Government's planning digital taskforce.

Lesley Martin MRTPI – independent consultant and former strategy and economy manager for Edinburgh. Specialises in strategic planning and economic development, with a leaning towards inclusivity.

Alexandra Notay – director of product and service innovation at Places for People, Urban Plan UK volunteer with the Urban Land Institute, taking the planning and business of real estate into schools.

Janet O'Neill MRTPI – founder of O’Neill Associates, RTPI president in 2008 and external examiner for planning schools; sits on RTPI General Assembly.  

NEW: Riëtte Oosthuizen – partner responsible for urban planning with HTA Design LLP. Specialist in housing, design, urban policy and regeneration. Passionate advocate for suburban intensification and innovative models of housing delivery. PhD in Urban Policy.

Holly Porter – founder of Chicks with Bricks, the network for women in the construction industries; founding director of Surface to Air architectural practice.

Catriona Riddell MRTPI – director of Catriona Riddell Associates, speaker, columnist, former director of planning for the South East of England Regional Assembly; specialisms include ‘open source planning’ and LEPs. Catriona has written for us about the need for planning decisions to reflect the true cost of development.

NEW: Emmeline Reynish – graduate planner at Arup; national representative on RTPI Young Planner's CYMRU steering group

NEW: Jennifer Ross MRTPI – co-founder of Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design. Key part of the all-woman team that created Velocity, the winning entry for a National Infrastructure Commission competition to develop the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor. 

Ann Skippers MRTPIindependent planning consultant and former president of the RTPI, neighbourhood plan examiner and specialist in neighbourhood planning and training; regular contributor to conferences and events and a planning trustee for the Theatres Trust.

Corinne Swain OBE FRTPI – former director and head of planning at Arup, influential on the government’s Future of Cities project, and current member of the Mayor of London's Outer London Commission. Now holds an Arup Fellowship focusing on knowledge sharing and research.

Sue Willcox MRTPI – a director at Quod, she also sits on Mayor’s Outer London Commission and is a committee member of the British Property Federation; she has contributed to government reviews of planning.

Wei Yang MRTPI – founder and managing director of Wei Yang & Partners and co-chair of the UK China Eco Cities and Green Building Group. Heavily involved in masterplanning low carbon projects in the UK and China. Engaged with the RTPI and other built environment bodies. Wei Yang offered us her thoughts on career building in planning.

Wel Ysng“Don’t be afraid to show your ambition, as it is important for people to be aware of what you are striving for professionally. But be very patient, and do even the simplest jobs properly" Wei Yang




Third sector

Including charities, membership bodies, think tanks, advisory bodies, networking groups.

NEW: Terrie Alafat CBE – chief executive of Chartered Institute of Housing; former director of housing for DCLG; Terrie gave us her thoughts on last year's housing white paper.

Nicola Barclay MRTPI – chief executive of Homes for Scotland, active member of the Association of Women in Property, former head of planning at Scottish Futures Trust, the Scottish government’s infrastructure agency. Nicola has written for The Planner about helping to build homes in vulnerable communities in India.

NEW: Jill Bell MRTPI – chair of Women in Planning in the North West and consultant with HGH Consulting.

Irene Beautyman MRTPI – planning for place programme manager at the University of Dundee’s Improvement Service. Board chair for Planning Aid Scotland; corporate member of RTPI Scottish executive committee. Advocate of community planning.

Petra Biberbach – chief executive of Planning Aid for Scotland and member of Scottish planning review panel.

NEW: Charlene Clear – BRE Women's Network lead and BREEAM new construction business manager at BRE Global.

NEW: Beverley Clyde MRTPI – current chair of RTPI Northern Ireland, director of Futurescape Planning.

NEW: Barbara Cummins MRTPI – director of heritage for Historic Environment Scotland; member of RTPI Scotland executive committee.

Hannah David – co-founder of the independent Planning Futures planning think-tank, national director of the Conservative Policy Forum and former Conservative Parliamentary candidate. Hannah has written for us about the need for better consultation in planning.

Trudi Elliott CBE MRTPI – outgoing chief executive of the RTPI, former director of the Government Office for the West Midlands, and a major contributor to an overhaul of national planning guidance. We interviewed Trudi for our December 2016 issue.

NEW: Mary Fortune MRTPI – chair of Women in Planning, London; senior planner with Savills.

Marion Frederiksen MRTPI – associate director and environmental planner with G L Hearn; formerly the RTPI’s international policy and research officer A powerful advocate for planning and sustainability internationally. Marion wrote for The Planner in the build-up to Habitat III.

NEW: Julia Frost MRTPI – operations manager for PAS (formerly Planning Aid Scotland) in Edinburgh and senior vice convenor for RTPI Scotland.

NEW: Emily Gee – London planning director for Historic England; leader of HE's Twentieth Century Network; writer on housing for Victorian and Edwardian working women.

Ghislaine Halpenny director of external affairs for the British Property FederationGhislaine has written for The Planner.

NEW: Joanne Harding MRTPI – local plans manager at the Home Builders Federation; RTPI volunteer of the year for 2016. Has served as an external examiner and is the a member of the partnership board for Manchester University.

NEW: Jo Harrop – founder of PLACED (Place Education), a social enterprise dedicated to supporting overlooked communities to shape their built environment. 

NEW: Kate Houghton MRTPI – policy and practice officer for RTPI Scotland; regular contributor to The Planner and she wrote for us about the Scottish planning review.

Sarah James – senior development officer at Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement in England. Supporter of community rights available through Localism Act and helping communities create community action plans.

Alexandra Jones – director of industrial strategy for the department for business, energy and industrial stategy; former chief executive of the Centre for Cities. Alexandra has written for The Planner about how planning policy can help to stem the UK's brain drain.

NEW: Emma Langmaid MRTPI – chair of Women in Planning South Wales and director of Prospero Planning. Emma gave us her thoughts on how she would change the Welsh planning system.

Melanie Leechchief executive of the British Property Federation; former director of communications for the Cabinet Office and head of broadcasting policy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; previously also director general of the Food and Drink Federation, she now helms the trade body for the property sector. We interviewed Melanie in 2015.

Trudi Elliott"I start from the position of being an optimist and thinking that planning is part of the solution, not part of the problem" Trudi Elliott







NEW: Alison Mackay MRTPI – co-founder of Women in Planning; senior planner with Colliers International; active with RTPI London. Alison wrote about Women in Planning for us in 2017.

NEW: Anne McCall MRTPI – first female director of RSPB Scotland.

NEW: Deborah McLaughlin – managing director, real estate projects for Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure; former North West executive director for the Homes and Commities Agency (now Homes England).

NEW: Nikola Miller MRTPI – principal planning adviser for Homes For Scotland; board member of PAS (formerly Planning Aid Scotland); board member of the Built Environment Forum Scotland.

Charlotte Morphet MRTPI – co-founder of the expanding Women in Planning network and principal policy planner at the London Borough of Waltham Forest; RTPI General Assembly member. Charlotte's been a regular controbutor to our publications, particular in the area of career development and 

Sara Parkinson MRTPI – programme director, planning and development, London First. Key in lobbying GLA on behalf of planning and engaging government on emerging planning policy; former RTPI trustee.

Victoria Pinoncély - research manager at the Centre for London, the thinktank dedicated to solving the capital's challenges; former RTPI's research officer specialising in health and wellbeing. Victoriawrote us a piece on gender equality and planning for International Women's Day 2017.

NEW: Erika Rushton – director of Baltic Creative CIC, which has been heavily involved in the regeneration of Liverpool's Baltic Triangle; winner of Northern Power Women Transformational Leader.

Jackie Sadek – chief executive of UK Regeneration, longstanding columnist on regeneration and property matters for Estates Gazette, policy adviser to the minister for cities.

NEW: Anne Selby – chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside; qualified planner; running one of four natural capital accounting pilot schemes for the UK government.

NEW: Priya Shah – founder of BAME in Property, formally launching in March 2018; works in public affairs for the Built Environment Communication Group.

NEW: Rachel Skinner – president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, only the second women to hold the role; head of development at WSP, engineering consultancy that offers planning and advisory services on major infrastructure and property, including the Shard.

Rebecca Sudworth – director of strategic planning and performance at City University; former strategy and communications director at Peabody.

Lisa Taylor – director of Future of London , the independent think tank focusing on regeneration, housing and economic development. With a masters in sustainable urbanism, Lisa leads on leadership and diversity programmes  and launched the Diversity Speakers' Network for London, as she explained to The Planner.

Roisin Willmott OBE FRTPI – the RTPI's director for Wales and Northern Ireland is an integral, and influential, figure in planning in both nations as each undergoes planning reform. She's a also a regular commentator in The Planner.

NEW: Jill Wood – policy analyst at Engender, which works towards equal opportunities for women in Scotland; Jill has written for us about the need for more gender-invlusive planning.


Dr Rachel Aldred - senior lecturer in transport at the University of Westminster, and a former sociology lecturer, she is a leading thinker and writer on cycling infrastructure, cycle safety and the behaviour of cyclists within transport systems.

Janet Askew MRTPI -  2015 RTPI president, in which role she advocated positive planning as far afield as Canada and China. Formerly head of planning at the University of the West of England, Janet has influenced generations of students. Now an independent consultant. Janet has written for The Planner.

Janet Askew“If only we could get that message out to the wider press, and to government, that in fact most people want planning and want to be involved in a planned town and a planned neighbourhood” Janet Askew





NEW: Prof. Simin Davoudi FRTPI – professor of environment policy and planning, and director of the Global Urban Research Unit at Newcastle University. She spoke to us about planning for the silent majority. Simin is one of just 11 female fellows of the RTPI.

NEW: Dr Jessica Ferm MRTPI – lecturer a the UCL Bartlett School of Planning; currently researching the impact of the lsos of industrial land in London.

Professor Clara Greed MRTPI –  emerita professor of inclusive urban planning at the University of the West of England. Perhaps best known for her research into public toilet provision, but also a specialist on the relationship between religion and urban structure. Oft-cited as an inspiration to other women in planning.

Patsy Healey OBE MRTPI – professor emeritus in town and country planning at the University of Newcastle, past President of the Association of European Schools of Planning, respected writer and thinker, particularly on collaborative planning and urban governance.

NEW: Sue Kidd MRTPI – senior lecturer in geography and planing at the University of Liverpool

Dr Janice Morphet FRTPI – visiting professor at the Bartlett School and a respected thinker and writer on infrastructure planning, spatial planning, planning after devolution and the potential impacts of Brexit. We interviewed Janice about local authority housing, spatial planning and Brexit for the May 2017 issue of The Planner.

“One day every council estate was new and everyone thought it was lovely. How did it go from that to being a sink estate?” Janice Morphet






NEW: Mura Quigley –  teaching fellow in planning at Ulster University, with an accent on public engagement and community cohesion; Mura wrote for us about community cohesion in Belfast.

Professor Yvonne Rydin - chair of planning environment and public policy at the Bartlett School, specialist in governing for urban sustainability and particularly urban energy.

Professor Cecilia Wong FRTPI – professor of spatial planning at the University of Manchester. Influential researcher for government and other bodies, on everything from the Northern Powerhouse to sustainable development in China. Director of Centre for Urban Policy Studies, co-editor of Town Planning Review, co-author of Lyons Housing Review; Fellow of the RTPI.


NEW: Leanne Buckley-Thomson – planning and environment junior barrister with No.5 Chambers, building a strong portfolio of inquiries work; chair of South Coast Young Planners; described by a nominating colleague as "a top class barrister who spends a lot of time mentoring and supporting the next generation".

Jan Bessell FRTPI  strategic planning adviser, at partner level, for Pinsent Masons. Member of RTPI General Assembly member. Considerable experience of examining and advising on nationally significant infrastructure projects.

NEW: Deborah Cluett – assistant city solicitor at City of London Corporation.

"Regrettably, CIL regulations have proved most inflexible to the various viability issues that affect those large-scale strategic sites relied upon to tackle the UK’s housing crisis" Martha Grekos





Mary Cook – barrister, co-founder of Town Legal LLP and co-organiser of the Joint Planning Law Conference in Oxford, specialist in large and complex projects, particularly housing, as well as niche developments in green belt and conservation areas.

NEW: Estelle Dehon – leading junior in environment and planning at Cornerstone Barristers; Estelle represented Gayzer Frackman in his high profile opposition to fracking in Lancashire; she detailed the case against fracking for The Planner.

NEW: Claire Dutch – partner and head of planning team at Hogan Lovells, with strong experience of major development projects; Claire sits on the British Property Federation planning committee and the Oxford Joint Planning Law Conference committee. 

NEW: Clare Fielding LARTPI – partner and co-founder of Town Legal, Claire is a highly respected solicitor who has worked on major projects that include the Battersea Power Station redevelopment and the Emirates Stadium. She also flies the flag for diversity, as she told The Planner in March 2018.

NEW: Hayley Gore – associate in the planning and infrastructure consenting team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in Manchester. Although relatively junior, she has a broad range of experience in commercial and residential development, as well as having worked on various highways and mixed use CPO schemes. Hayley has written for The Planner.

Martha Grekos – head of planning at Howard Kennedy. She specialises in promoting redevelopment projects that are politically sensitive and involve large and complex environmental impact assessments, including Crossrail 2, Elephant and Castle, Heathrow, Hinkley Point C and the ‘walkie talkie’; recent board member of WTS London (Advancing Women in Transportation). Martha has written for The Planner.

Rose Grogan – environmental, planning and public law specialist at 39 Essex Chambers; regarded as one of the country’s most promising junior barristers. Rose has written for The Planner.

Bernadette Hillman – lawyer and planner, partner at Shakespeare Martineau. Honroary secretary and solicitor on the RTPI General Assembly. Bernadette has written for The Planner on the need for clarity in planning reform.

Meeta Kaur MRTPI – solicitor and also a founding partner of 'boutique' firm Town Legal LLP after 12 years at King & Wood Mallesons. Specialist in large mixed use developments and urban extensions. Sits on RTPI General Assembly, Planning Aid England trustee, formerly RTPI judge in London Planning Awards. Meeta has written for The Planner about the founding of a a niche law firm.

Meeta Kaur"We are proud that Town is a majority female partnership, and take our diversity credentials seriously" Meeta Kaur







NEW: The Hon. Ms Justice Lang DBE – 

NEW: Nathalie Lieven QC – leading QC with Blackstone Chambers specialising in energy, public law, planning and environmental law.

NEW: Colette McCormack – real estate partner with WSLaw, planning and environmental specialist with particular expertise in complex 106 agreements; advised Peel Land over the Liverpool Waters development and is lead advisor on the Battersea Nine Elms Opportunity Area Planning Framework.

NEW Clare Parry – well-respected junior barrister with Cornerstone Barristers, recently appointed by Department for Transport to join the legal team advising on HS2.

NEW: Sarah Reid – planning barrister with Kings Chambers, with a particular specialism in highways law; mentor to colleagues at Kings; founder and board member of Women in Planning North West; sits on the national comittee of the Planning and Environmental Bar Association.

Susan Ring – partner at Harrison Grant. Environmental law specialist whose cases concern historic environment, village greens, pubs, nature conservation, local parks and environmental impact assessment; notably actedfor SAVE Britain's Heritage in a landmark case establishing that demolition of buildings can be subject to the the EIA Directive.

NEW: Julie Simms – Julie Simms - partner in DWF’s real estate team in Liverpool; specialises in negotiating development and development funding agreements; performs an estate management function for an investment portfolio worth £625m; sits on DWF’s diversity steering group.


Martina Lees – property correspondent for The Sunday Times, award-winner for work around the housing crisis.

Laura Mark – digital editor at Architects’ Journal.

Francesca Perry – founding editor of Thinking City, assistant editor for Blueprint Magazine, co-steer of the Academy of Urbanism's Young Urbanist Network, panel member of Design South East and regular writer for The Planner. We spoke to Francesca about her work.

Francesca Perry“Cities can continue to grow unsustainably – be planned around cars, exacerbate social segregation and sprawl uncontrollably – or truly commit to a more inclusive, sustainable, efficient form of urbanism" Francesca Perry




NEW: Renée Elaine Sazcı –  founder and editor-in-chief of The Global Grid, a platform dedicated to sharing hyperlocal perspectives and worst-and-best-case built environment practices from urbanists around the world.


Christine Auclair  – project leader, World Urban Campaign at UN-Habitat. The World Urban Campaign promotes sustainable urbanisation worldwide and Christine was a central figure in the preparation and presentation of 2016's Habitat III conference.

Eugénie Birch HonMRTPI – professor of urban research at the Penn Institute for Urban Research, co-chair of the steering committee for the World Urban Campaign and a major organisaing presence at third UN-Habitat conference last year. Eugénie is one of the key figures in urban planning worldwide. We interviewed her in 2015.

Eugenie Birch"No country has grown its GDP without urbanising first, and we know that 60 to 70 per cent of the world's GDP comes from cities" Eugénie Birch






Dyan Currie HonMRTPI – chief planner for Brisbane City Council, past president of the Planning Institute of Australia and current president of the Commonwealth Association of Planners.

NEW: Catherine Kehinde George FRTPI – Nigeria's first female professional town planner and a Fellow of the RTPI

Anna Geppert – professor of urban and regional planning, University Paris-Sorbonne; president of AESOP, the Association of European Schools of Planning.

NEW: Norliza Hashim – managing director of AJM Planning an dUrban Design Group in Malaysia, Norliza is also the secretary general of the Eastern Region Organisation for Plannung and Human Settlements and a past president of the Malaysian Institute of Planners. She spoke at the 2017 RTPI convention about the challenge of providing affordable housing.

Dominique Lancrenon – secretary general of the European Council of Spatial Planners and director of land management for AnteaGroup.

Eleanor Mohammed – president of the Canadian Institute of Planners, in which role she had the creation of a new strategic plan and the reorganisation of committee structure, and director of planning and engineering for Beaumont, Alberta.

NEW: Prof. Barbara Norman HonMRTPI – foundation chair of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Canberra; director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures; chair of ACT Climate change Council; past president Planning Insititute of Australia; Barbara spoke about smart cities at the 2017 RTPI Convention.

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk – influential American architect, town planner and academic, co-founder of Miami-based 'new urbanism' firm DPZ Partners LLP, leader in the New Urbanism movement and author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.

Christine Platt – past president of the Commonwealth Association of Planners, past president of the South African Planning Institute and chaired the group that produced the UN-Habitat urban planning guidelines.

NEW: Prof. Dory Reeves FRTPI – Professor of Planning at the University of Auckland; member of the UNI UN-Habitat Global Steering Group; a believer in strong pathways between planing practice and research; recently elected Fellow of the RTPI.

Carol Rhea – past president and current board member of the American Planning Association, and partner with Orion Planning and Design in Hunstsville, Alabama; strong advocate for 'livable communities'.

Janette Sadik-Khan – former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, in which role she delivered transformative projects including the pedestrianisation of Times Square; now Transportation Principal at Bloomberg Associates and author of StreetFight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. The Guardian has recently run an interview with Sadik-Khan.

Galiena Tachieva – partner and director of planning at DPZ Partners LLP, leader in the Congress for the New Urbanism and author of the Sprawl Repair Manual which focuses on the retrofitting of auto-centric suburban places into complete, walkable communities.

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford – co-convenor of the Caribbean Planners Association, chief exec of the Belize-based C.Trench Sandiford and Associates, recognised as a UN global evaluation expert.

Prof Vanessa Watson AssocRTPI – professor of city planning in the school of architecture, planning and geomatics at the University of Cape Town, and lead consultant for UN-Habitat’s 2009 Global Report on Planning Sustainable Cities.

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