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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 7 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 2126..


Planning Institute before finally assuming its current name in July 2002. It is a national organisation which represents the planning profession. Last year it represented 4,700 members nationally and internationally.

PIA seeks to achieve its vision of leading effective planning for people and places through advocating for better planning, developing high-quality planners and providing support for the planning community. In support of its aims PIA has conducted an annual national congress since the early 1980s as an opportunity for some 600 planning professionals from across the country to meet and hear from local planning specialists, allied professionals and international speakers to exchange views and gain new insights.

Each year the event moves to a different location. In the past this has included Christchurch, New Zealand in a joint event with the Planning Institute of New Zealand. The 2013 PIA National Congress was held over three days, with the young planners conference, YPConnect, held on the weekend preceding the main conference. The main conference was officially opened on Monday, 25 March by the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Simon Corbell, who spoke about the vision for Canberra in the 21st century, the light rail proposal, solar farms and connecting the city centre with Lake Burley Griffin.

Attendees were then addressed via recorded video by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales who talked about the evolution of city planning, including the design of Canberra and the garden city movement, which sought to address the problems of overcrowding, unhealthy living conditions, and the noise and pollution associated with industrialisation as well as the challenges that will be facing city planners in the future, having noted that over 50 per cent of all the world's people currently live in cities. For those interested in listening to his speech, it may be viewed via the PIA's conference website.

Dyan Currie, the current president of the Planning Institute of Australia, welcomed attendees and addressed the question of the value of planning, the importance of engaging with the community and ensuring that the best results are achieved through these collaborations. Dy was followed by Mitch Silver, the president of the American Planning Association, who gave an inspirational talk about planning in the 21st century.

He argued that planners have an obligation to look after the public interest and, importantly, to appreciate and communicate that there is a consequence for taking no action. Saying no to one thing is saying yes to something else. Planning needs to take account of environmental, economic and equitable dimensions—that is, people. Planners need to understand emerging issues and frame them for the public.

Mitch spoke about the planning implications of changing social circumstances—for example, the ageing population—discussed the value of smarter development; better, more efficient land use; and creative place making. He concluded with an overview of the work he was involved with in developing the liveable streets plan for Raleigh in North Carolina.


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