Join us (almost) every Friday at 1pm GMT. This event series is free to AoU Members and carries a small charge for non-Members. Why not become a member to join the talks for free?

The event will tell the story of the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan (or GANP for short), the first of its kind to set out policies to shape the development of 10,000 new homes in the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town area. No other neighbourhood plan has ever attempted this scale of influence. According to the Government’s “The impact of Neighbourhood Planning” (May 2020) 141 NDPs included sites for 24,661 dwellings in total: the GANP alone deals with an allocation of 10,000 homes!

The presentations will explore the value of the work done by the community to the Council and to the developers, the contribution to quality and beauty made by their perspective and the challenges that had to be overcome.

Preparing the GANP was a bold move in unchartered territory, but in the true spirit of the Government’s vision for community involvement in shaping the places they live and care for. It is also unquestionable proof that communities deserve a place as constructive partners in shaping development.


Martina Juvara, RIBA, CMLI AoU is the Director of URBAN Silence and a master planner with over 25 years of experience. Over the past few years, she has had opportunities to explore the power of bottom-up master planning in London and the South East, and internationally working with councils, community groups, national authorities and even the World Bank. She is convinced that, in a rapidly changing world, the only way forward is through collaboration and shared understanding of the city we all want and deserve.

Joanna Chambers, MRTPI AoU is the head of Changing Cities and an expert planner with over 30 years of experience and former director level positions at Atkins, Arup and Aecom. She is a passionate believer in collaborative working and has been involved in major development negotiations working closely with landowners, developers, statutory bodies and local stakeholders, including communities. She advises the Greater London Authorities and other Councils on policy development, the determination of planning applications, negotiation of S106 agreements, and appeared as expert witness at planning inquiries and examinations in public.

Martina and Joanna are friends and have been working together on a project basis for many years.

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The Academy of Urbanism (Number 2) Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 0595604, 11c Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 IXE, United Kingdom.
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