Rita Brar: Strategic Planner
Having lived in and experienced the beauties of both historic Cambridge, where my grandfather spent his life after emigrating from North India in 1937, and Oxford, where I completed my Masters in Urban Planning at Oxford Brookes, I ended up working in another one of England’s historic gems, Lincoln, before taking my voyage down the Roman Great North Road to join Whetstone Barnet, and then Capita.
When I joined Lincoln’s planning team, the city was much quieter, and humdrum compared to the ever so diverse and vibrant hub it has now become. I remember well the regeneration plans we used to discuss and now to see the vision realised fills me with a great sense of pride and joy. Now, the historic Cathedral Quarter and High Bridge sit perfectly in sync with the modern, regenerated Brayford Waterfront Harbour area.
My most recent visit to Lincoln proved that the high street is still an active one, buzzing with a sea of diverse communities of all ages and backgrounds. As a strategic planner, I feel place-making is as much about the people that make up our communities as it is about the natural or built environment.
As we look forward into a future of levelling up and more sensitive placemaking, it is vital that we complement the heritage of our areas with modern and technologically advanced amenities that cater for all generations to ‘enhance existing settlements, gladden the eye and lift the heart’.