Back in November, as part of the inaugural Transport Planning Day celebrations, the TPS partnered with universities in four cities to arrange an informal evening discussion around the question ‘Transport Planning: How Hard Can It Be?’

In each case, the discussion was inspired by short opening contributions from 4-5 invited speakers who then sat with the rest of the crowd the conversation became general, facilitated by an MC. The topic and this format generated a lot of positive energy, with all participants able to contribute, and the flow of ideas no doubt assisted by the fact that everyone who wanted to had a drink in hand! It proved very hard to finish the events by the advertised time, because the conversation was still going strong. Feedback at the time was also really positive, even if one participant described it as ‘a high-calibre group therapy session’!

The first event, in Leeds on 7th November, event piggy-backed on the Transport Planning Camp ‘unconference’ (see news item by Laura Putt) and many of the attendees were hardy souls who’d been at the Camp all day, yet still had it in them to push on for another two hours in the evening. The second event took place in London the following night and was hosted by UCL. The third took place on Transport Planning Day itself (13th November) and was hosted by UWE in Bristol; while the last-but-not-least evening out was in Southampton, hosted by the University of that name.

A total of around 170 people attended these events, and the number of people to thank for making them such a success is far too long to fit in to this report. Nevertheless, the TPS would particularly like to thank the individuals who undertook most of the behind-the-scenes-work that made the evenings possible: James Gleave for Leeds, Tom Cohen from UCL, Jonathan Flower from UWE, and Simon Blainey from Southampton University. We’re also very grateful to ITP and Urban Movement for providing the refreshments in Leeds and London respectively.

Reflecting on the evenings as a whole, it seems that developing a particular theme and format for an event, and rolling it out across the country in a number of venues, is an approach that could make it easier for regional and national groups to host events that attract, engage and inspire people. It would be interesting to hear what members think.

London event Nov 18

London Event 18 November 2018

 

 
 
 

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