World Town Planning Day

Every year on the 8th November planners from around the world celebrate World Town Planning day. Started in 1949 by Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires, the aim is to celebrate the achievements of planners and good planning.

This year GL Hearn is 95 years young and we will be celebrating the achievements of our planners by taking part in World Town Planning Day and promoting how we implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal for Cities (SDG11).

We have a breadth of planning experience in delivering urban development projectspolicies and strategies and as a profession we are uniquely placed to help implement SDG11. For the first time in history more people live in cities than rural areas. Cities are not only the drivers of economic and social power but also attract skills, ideas, and resources. However, our urban areas are where we face some of our biggest challenges. Think rapid urbanisation, chronic housing shortages, poor air quality, constrained infrastructure, traffic congestion and climate change impacts. Trying to achieve sustainable development needs a collective effort.

In 2015, the challenges facing cities around the world were recognised by the United Nations and world leaders. The solution was to agree a new set of global sustainable development goals which all countries would implement. One of these is SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities which aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, healthy, equitable and sustainable. SDG11 has a number of indicators including adequate and affordable housing, access to sustainable transport systems and more green spaces, protecting our cultural and natural heritage, reducing environmental impact assessments and excessive land-take. Resilience needs to be built-in to minimise disasters and adapt to climate change impacts. To achieve this all levels of society need to be engaged: governments, professionals, civil society including you and I. All of this needs to be underpinned by equality, diversity and transparent participation in urban management, policies and strategies. Planners and good planning are at the heart of this. 

Here at GL Hearn our professional planning team delivers sustainable urban development with our expert planning, environmental and economic services. We have delivered numerous mixed use developments, affordable housing schemes, embedded the SDGs into our environmental impact assessments and inputted to economic strategies that aim to regenerate areas and provide opportunities for employment.

Our chartered town planners are registered with the Royal Town Planning Institute and collectively have over 100 years of experience. We are also proud of training the next generation with our structured graduate training programme which enables us to pass on learning and best practice within our profession.  

So this year we’ll be celebrating with a number of activities:

  • A series of blogs highlighting GL Hearn’s planning pedigree, our pro bono work and why we chose to be planners!
  • The Great GL Hearn Charity Bake off will see our staff harnessing their baking skills and raising money for Slum Dwellers International who provide local support services for urban poor around the world
  • And we’ll be running two competitions with winners announced on World Town Planning Day! A colouring in competition will see colleagues creatively connecting planning, health and mindfulness and a quiz will be made available to all!

So check out our website, take part in our quiz and follow us on Twitter (@GL_Hearn) using hashtags #WTPD2018 and #SDG11.

Here’s to the next 95 years of World Town Planning Day and GL Hearn!