Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The role of women in planning

me at a recent public meeting - hating it
You know, I meant to write a few weeks ago about the deep poison in our professional planning world that is public consultation and the needless interference of busy-bodies - usually women - who obstruct our activities. I suppose it is a natural thing for women to interfere with men - as natural as doing the dishes or dusting the mantelpiece, sweeping the front path, making the bed or ironing their man's shirt. If they have a man that is.

It was the last issue of the Scottish Planner that really annoyed me but so much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I couldn't get round to writing this post. Everywhere in that issue, women with short hair are spouting about community engagement, mentoring, youth coaching and other namby-pamby activities which are almost entirely irrelevant in today's business-driven world of property-led planning and development. It's a clear case of trying to ring-fence an area of activity and calling it their own because they are so useless at the real meat of planning - enabling development by rich people.

The President of the RTPI is a women I think - but maybe that was last year - or even next year. Who cares? Even the President of the RIBA is a women - I saw her on the TV giving an award to Polish architect Zaza Hadid at the Stirling Awards which I commented on before. Some might say it's a conspiracy but I'm broad minded enough to think that there should be a role or two for women in planning - it's only fair. For example, receptionist duties or typing are both worthwhile areas of employment as is making the tea for meetings. Better still, all of these job areas can be found in the public and private sectors - the world of planning is so broad and inclusive isn't it?

I have a day off tomorrow. I'm waiting on a delivery of more logs for the fire and I will enjoy chopping them up at the weekend - I will think about the Scottish Planner as I am wielding my axe. It's my turn to get the boy for the weekend so I'm looking forward to that - even if he isn't - and I have some plans to take him to see some astonishing new developments. Stay tuned!

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