Young Planners



First let me introduce myself. My name is Viral Desai, I am Planning Consultant based in Shrewsbury,England. I work for AMEC E & I, which provides a range of environmental and planning consultancy services, working in a number of sectors including, housing, waste, water, energy and local and regional government.

Since graduating from the University of Liverpool in 2011, I have worked both in the public and private sector here in England. I am a licentiate member of the RTPI and an active member of the RTPI West Midlands Regional Activities Committee. I have helped to produce plans for Local Authorities and in my current role successfully gained planning permission for a range of schemes across England and Wales. I am very passionate about Town and Regional Planning, I believe it can shape the economic and social fabric of society but also strongly believe in developing sustainable, environmentally-friendly places for people to live.

Development of the Young Planners Network

Over the last few months, I have been asked by CAP to co-ordinate the Young Planners group, which began a few years ago. This has been lying dormant for a while and I am going to be picking it up and attempting to provide a network for Young Planners across the Commonwealth.

Initial Goals of CAP Young Planners

The goals of the group are to follow the strong values set by the CAP itself and building on there work, but also having a group of Young Planners who can also share, build and bring fresh ideas. I am hoping some of you will be keen to get involved straight away and help to form these, but below are some goals I have thought about and would like to share as a starting point (please feel free to discuss these, alter them and add ones you think would be relevant to forming the group):

  • ​developing the skills and knowledge of Town Planners across the Commonwealth;
  • promote co-operation and a point of contact between member organisations and Young Planners in the Commonwealth;
  • ensure the Young Planners contribute to the well-being of society and the creation of more sustainable settlements and adequate shelter for all
  • aim to share professional, educational, research and technical information in planning and related fields and the dissemination of good practice between Young Planners across the Commonwealth;
  • encourage liaison or collaboration with relevant national, Commonwealth and international governmental and non-governmental organisations, including Young Planner chapters across the Commonwealth within Town Planning and other professions;​
  • Support other Commonwealth countries to join the CAP;
  • Support reasearch and funding into Town and Country Planning across the Commonwealth; and
  • promote collaboration between planners other professionals within the built environment to deliver sustainable development across the commonwealth.

Young Planners Network Development

Immediately. I am hoping to build a network of 'Young' Planners to start some discussions about how to form the group, produce a charter and to develop the groups Core Goals for the year, as well as issues that are at the heart of town planning across the Commonwealth. Therefore a key part of building this CAP Young Planners network is to create a network of people and points of contact in each Commonwealth nations. Therefore I would be keen to bring together a representative from each Commonwealth country. If you would like to be the nominated as the Young Planner Representative for your nation please reply to this email expressing your interest.

How to Develop this Network?

In shaping the future of the CAP Young Planners I am currently working on developing the following:

​​​​​CAP Twitter- this will be used to post about the group, its events but also about practice and to share ideas about Town and Regional Planning across the world. There will be topics posted consistently, which hopefully will provoke discussion among members- for example the current topic is around the Scottish Referendum and what, if any, implications of the state staying part of the United Kingdom has for Town and Regional Planning in Scotland? Therefore I would like you all to get involved, retweet, share ideas and support me in building a large network of followers, but also developing and sharing ideas about Planning and its associated topics. To follow the CAP Young Planners please add @CAPYoungPlan. This account has been created and you can start to follow and connect through this immediately.

​​​Facebook- this will have a similar role as above, but possibly being a more social element to the CAP Young Planners. Discussion topics will also be posted here, which will allow more freely the expression of the views of the Commonwealth Young Planners, hopefully allowing the sharing of ideas, knowledge and practice within Town and Regional Planning. Please like the following page to connect further with the Young Planners of CAP 

​​​Webpage and Blog- I have been supported by the CAP to produce a webpage and a blog (which at the moment I am thinking I will update monthly), but I would really like this to be a place where we can all share articles, papers and ideas from different areas of the Commonwealth. A place where the spatial elements of our daily work is manifested in supporting the Goals of CAP (and when we decide the Core Goals of the Young Planners) .I would hope each chapter of the CAP will bring a focus to this page every month, so for example in the first month, I will aim to focus on the Planning system I work within, which is here in England, but I would then like to focus on another country and its system. This will be available from the 1st November 2014, and you can follow updates of its construction and development via Twitter and Facebook over the coming weeks.

I am hoping to Launch the website and blog on the 1st November 2014. If there are any specific issues you would like to raise, any articles and papers you have written about Planning in your country or work, or you would just like to get more involved in setting up the network, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

I look forward to hearing from you and sharing any ideas you have. I will keep you all updated over the coming months about CAP Young Planners and its development before its anticipated launch on the 1st November 2014.

Viral Desai

CAP YP Co-ordinator