Dr Wei Yang
The world deserves a modernised planning profession.
I want to champion a revival of spirit for our profession by enhancing public appreciation, strengthening international collaboration on capacity building, and contributing to immediate actions on the climate and biodiversity emergency.
I am also keen to do more to engage young planners and adopt new technologies to empower the modernisation.
Why I stood for the RTPI Election
I feel very fortunate to be a town planner, in a profession celebrating human civilisation, caring for our environment, and being creative at the same time. I couldn’t think of any other profession that suits me better.
The reason for putting my name forward to become the next Vice President of RTPI is a strong sense of urgency that we should rebuild the connection and trust with the general public, and act immediately to modernise our profession.
The 21st Century is an urban century. It is expected that 70% of the world population will live in urban areas by the middle of this century. The world is desperate for best planning practices, as well as creative and systematic solutions. It is high time for the planning profession to flourish and grow. But in reality, the profession has become marginalised. There is a significant lack of adequate planning capacity worldwide.
In the last 20 years, I have been proactively promoting joined-up thinking between different professionals and stakeholders. Through my work, I see how town planning has profound influence on people’s lives across generations. This stimulates me to become an ambassador for planning on an international stage to promote the best practices worldwide.
Over the course of my career, I have also been researching, promoting and implementing 21st Century Garden City approaches. Through the Garden City and New Towns research, I have become familiar with the lives of the pioneers in our profession. I somehow feel I know them in person, and I am deeply touched by their spirit and determination.
I cannot stop thinking what our founders would do if they face the challenges we have now. The answer is obvious, they would not wait, but act with firmness and urgency!
Action is being taken, change is starting to occur, but in my opinion, certainly not at the speed it needs to.
As one of the 16 women Fellows of the RTPI, I want to champion a revival of spirit for our profession by enhancing public appreciation, strengthening international collaboration on capacity building, and contributing to immediate actions on the climate and biodiversity emergency. I am also keen to do more to engage young planners and adopt new technologies to empower the modernisation.
I believe I have the passion, commitment and skills to work with the RTPI members to champion the transformative changes the world deserves.
Think globally, act locally
I see planners as doctors of our cities and towns: we can identify issues and potentials, draw up long-term cross-sector strategies, and create inclusive, healthy and sustainable communities for all.”
Dr Wei Yang
Planner Magazine, August 2017
What I will do
As the RTPI President from 2021, I will contribute complementary skills to the RTPI Presidential Team by bringing more international and multi-disciplinary perspective, introducing platforms to promote planning to the wider public, and supporting the RTPI’s continued commitment to equality and diversity.
I will work closely with RTPI members, the RTPI Board, and other key stakeholders to support the implementation of the Corporate Strategy (2020-2029), the delivery and implementation of an International Strategy, as well as an Equalities, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Action Plan.
In particular, I would like to develop the following initiatives with the support of RTPI members and the Board:
Enhancing public appreciation
Propose a major public exhibition on the history of social reform and planning
Campaign ‘Planning is GREAT’ (seeking support from the Department for International Trade)
Develop RTPI Fellow and Young Leader ‘Planning Ambassador’ Network
Strengthening international collaboration on capacity building
Initiate Strategic International Partners Network and Exchange Programme in collaboration with other planning institutes, in both developing and developed countries
Promote international collaboration on capacity building scheme (seeking support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Prosperity Fund)
Facilitate RTPI Trade Missions (seeking support from the Department of International Trade)
Contributing to immediate actions on the climate and biodiversity emergency
Propose RTPI Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Task Force (seeking support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, and the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs)
Initiate ‘One-stop-shop’ Knowledge Centre to support and foster knowledge transfer between research and practice amongst academic, public and private sectors
Engaging young planners and adopt new technologies to empower the modernisation
Propose ‘Youth Thought Leadership’ Mentoring Scheme to cultivate future thought leadership
Propose ‘RTPI Planning in Digital Era’ Task Force led by young planners (seeking support from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)
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We need to stand up and make our voice heard by the general public, to be a leader, an innovator to create beautiful and climate change resilient places, promote health and wellbeing, and all in all, advance social equity in our society.”
Dr Wei Yang
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Conference, Vienna 2018