New leadership for planning professionals in Ireland

RTPI Ireland this month inaugurated Marion Chalmers and Dr Berna Grist as Chair and Vice Chair respectively for 2013. With a membership of 23,000 professional planners, the RTPI is Europe’s leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning. The RTPI provides an authoritative voice for members to promote professional standards.

New Chair, Marion Chalmers set as her objective for the year the promotion of the role professional planners can and should have in planning for economic recovery. On her inauguration, Marion said: “I don’t underestimate the challenge that the Government or the planning profession faces. The economy remains vulnerable and planners, politicians, communities and the development sector all need to continue to be realistic about what can be achieved with less. In practical terms, a critical objective must be that planners need to ensure that development projects are viable. A key initiative of RTPI Ireland over the coming year will be to promote the framework for this to be achieved.”

This emphasis reflects the thrust of Marion’s professional experience from her work in research, local government and consultancy in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Although a multidisciplinary consultant, she has become best known as one of the leading retail planners in Ireland. Marion was founding Managing Director of DTZ Pieda Consulting Ireland and Strategy Director in Declan Brassil and Company Limited before establishing her own company in Dublin, MRC Planning & Economics Limited.

The Vice Chair, Dr Grist, is a Senior Lecturer in Planning & Environmental Policy at University College Dublin and is also on the Board of the National Transport Authority. She is both a barrister and Chartered Town Planner and a former Board Member of An Bord Pleanála and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

The RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe, with over 23,000 members. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built and natural environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: <> .