The Bartlett School of Planning


Working in the Public Interest: what must planners do differently?

21 July 2020, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

Illustration of crowd of people

Event Information

Open to





Imogen Johnson

Planning is at a crossroads.  The combined impact of Covid and the potential for further far-reaching changes to planning in England mean that it is unlikely that we will return to 'business as usual'.  This free online event, draws on the results of a 3 year study by academics at the Universities of Sheffield, Newcastle and UCL, including BSP's Dr Ben Clifford, into the nature of work in planning, to present a series of questions and challenges for the profession at this critical juncture.  Drawing on insights from in-depth studies of public and private sector work, the event will pose questions on a range of topics:

  • Professionalism: what does it mean to be a professional in planning today?
  • Work-life balance: how is planning being affected by work intensification and why does it matter?
  • Commercialisation: how are pressures to generate fee income transforming public sector planning?
  • Careers in planning: how can young planners navigate the job market to find the right organisational fit?
  • Planning ethics: what does it mean to act ethically in planning today?
  • Planners’ agency: how do planners find ways of making a difference in practice?
  • The public interest: what does all of this mean for the ways planners’ work in the public interest?

Further details of the Working in the Public Interest project can be found at: https://witpi.group.shef.ac.uk/