The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Looking Back, and now Looking Forward into 2015 and beyond

15 January 2015

Looking Back, Looking Forward - Ronaldo Ramirez and Michael Safier

We are delighted to share with you an ongoing project that began during our anniversary year. Looking Back, Looking Forward is a series of interviews recorded with former members of the DPU team – acclaimed academics and practitioners in their respective disciplines.

Though some have now retired or moved on the pastures new, in these short 10-15 minute conversations with Rita Lambert they shared their insights on three specific things:

  1. How it was working in the DPU during exciting moments of idea formation, many which have come to be seen as defining times in the field of development planning which helped find a place for urban issues on international policy agendas.
  2. Reflections on their own work and contributions to pioneering new agendas, and the different challenges they encountered.
  3. Thoughts looking forward to the years ahead: What are the challenges of urbanisation today? What have we learned from the past? And what is the role of the DPU in addressing these challenges?

In this first round of interviews we spoke to Nigel Harris, Patrick Wakely, Caroline Moser, Ronaldo Ramirez, Babar Mumtaz, Sheilah Meikle, Michael Mattingly, Desmond McNeill and Michael Safier.

Capturing the Legacy of the DPU

During 2014 we celebrated our 60th anniversary. You might well be aware of many of the activities that took place across the year, but if not then you’ll find them all nicely brought together on our DPU60 microsite, and you can read our end of year summary of the highlights.

These interviews are another crucial part of capturing the legacy of the DPU through some of the people who shaped our institution into what it is to day, and who have had an extraordinary impact on the world in which we work. You can read more about the profiles of former DPU staff members, many of whom are still very active in the field, through the DPU Associates website.

The next steps will be to continue looking forward through interviews with current DPU staff members who have their own histories to share and visions of the years to come.