Sam Hayes talks RTPI Planner Live North

PLACED Senior Project Manager Dr. Samuel Hayes attended the Planner Live North annual conference, hosted by the RTPI and organised by the RTPI Northern branches. This year in Manchester, it focused on the three Cs – competition, collaboration, and community within planning.

PLACED was invited to attend to speak on the community engagement breakout panel alongside Darren Muir from Planning Aid and Pegasus and it was chaired by Emma Dickson from Turley.

Sam spoke on the community engagement panel to offer some reflections from PLACED’s perspective as community engagement professionals, working with colleagues across the built environment sector from the public and private organisations.

Some of the key reflections coming from the event were that there were a real interest in community engagement! Our session was well attended and buzzing with questions. Our session had a real honest about it, thinking about how important community engagement is and the attendance to the panel clearly demonstrated that interest.

Reflections from PLACED and Planning Aid highlighted how good and accessible community engagement isn’t always delivered. Identifying shortcomings has got to be one of the first steps to improving practice, so we’re quite pleased we’re on that journey.

For Sam, his highlights included;

  1. Participating in the session organised by Simon Wicks (Deputy Editor, The Planner), Jennie Savage (Public Realm Policy, Tower Hamlets) and Joe Shute (Journalist, Author, PhD Researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University). It was creative and interactive and reminded Sam of similar things we do at PLACED. It really dug into the key themes of the day – including how you bring the public into strategic planning. This is something PLACED has recently worked on as part of the community engagement on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Spatial Development Strategy.
  2. Several people came for a chat after his talk and said they felt I’d managed to pull together a lot of the thoughts and reflections they’d had on community engagement practice. Knowing that our reflections resonate with others is great. Now we just need to start tackling some of the shortcomings of the sector to deliver the best possible community engagement.

A big thanks to Darren for the invite as well as RTPI, RTPI North East, speakers and attendees. Thanks to Becca Gray for taking a wonderful photo of Sam.

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