Timothy Crawshaw

8 Nov 2022

I am red raw from the amount of pinching myself I've been doing since speaking to my first interviewee for Pinch Yourself, You're a Planner. It was a joy to interview Timothy Crawshaw, the President of the Royal Town Planning Institute. I'm indebted to Timothy for his sincere encouragement and belief in this endeavour. In his role and through his ardour, he strikes the perfect note to begin this exploration.

What I aim to do following each interview is summarise my principal learnings from the discussion. This will begin to form a cumulative reflection.

It feels irreverent to cherry pick from the discussion with Timothy, but these are the reflections on adding meaning to the planning profession that stand out for me - do let me know if you'd like me to add to this list!

  • planning has a unique power to make the world a better place
  • success looks like our representation of the communities we plan
  • we must invite involvement by new and emerging planners
  • the richness of planning is found in a diverse career, working in various sectors, circumstances and roles, and coming to the career through an indirect path
  • public speak and speaking to planners allows ideas to take root and to share in the celebration of ideas
  • "every day is a school day"
  • handing someone the pen can be the ultimate form of engagement
  • "places can heal you and you can heal places; but the process of healing places can heal you, as well"
  • appreciate that everyone sees and experiences places differently
  • "when you are offered help, take it and when you can offer help, give it"
  • planning is not easy - it is the challenge of it that can keep you engaged
  • "step back to leap forwards" - knowing when to step back to take an overview before you jump
  • planners are social animals - we should always feel able to connect with others