Watson chairs world planning body

05 July 2007 | Story by Helen Swingler

Planning links: Professor Vanessa Watson (School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics), has been appointed chair of the Global Planning Education Association Network.

Professor Vanessa Watson, new deputy dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, has been appointed chair of the Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN).

Formed in 2001, GPEAN links the work of nine associations of planning schools worldwide.

For several years Watson has co-ordinated the Association of African Planning Schools, one of GPEAN's member associations.

The global association's main role is to hold a world congress every five years, bringing together its diverse members. A "best paper" edited book series is published at every congress.

"Planning schools in all parts of the world face a major challenge in finding ways to educate students to deal with the realities of urbanisation, growing poverty, inequality and climate change," Watson said.

"My role as chair of the GPEAN co-ordinating committee is to promote global collaboration and exchange of planning educators on these issues."

Watson won the 2005 Bill Venter/Altron Literary Award for her book Change and Continuity in Spatial Planning: Metropolitan Planning in Cape Town under Political Transition (2002, Routledge) and the Department of Science and Technology's Distinguished Woman Scientist Award in 2003.

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