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Courtney Wood is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield. She has been actively involved in the Communications Team of the Network including supporting the Diversity and Inclusion survey.

1. Why did you choose to study planning?

I chose planning because of my love for human geography during my GCSE and A level studying. I developed a passion for learning about cities and have been keeping up with news in urban planning. As a black woman, I noticed how little the representation of women of colour was in different sectors of planning. My hope is that by completing my degree I will be able to voice the concerns of BAME community members who often feel spoken over and attempt to integrate intersectionality into my (planning) practices.

2. What current initiative in planning excites you the most?

I am very interested in seeing the implementation of more blue-green infrastructure in planning initiatives. As the negative impacts of climate change increase in frequency, cities are more vulnerable to flooding, the production of urban heat islands, and air pollution. Permeable paving, rainwater harvesting, and green roofs are just a few examples of methods that can be used to manage the landscape and water.

3. How does the BAME Planners Network benefit you?

Joining the BAME Planners Network has been such an amazing experience! Being in regular contact with established professionals who have done great work in their field whilst championing diversity and inclusion has been inspirational. Having access to online events including career talks, training events, and platforming the heads of the industry has enlightened me so much about what my future could look like. I volunteer in the BAME Network’s Communication group and I’ve been working with the members to develop the first BAME Network Diversity and Inclusion Survey.

4. What are your future aspirations?

I hope in the future I can be employed in a firm which works on planning projects that serve local communities. Knowing there is such a variety of members involved in the BAME Planners Network reassures me that I access to people in different jobs and ask questions to inform myself on how their day to day life is and preparation to take to enter their pathway. On my MPlan course, I feel very supported by staff in terms of finding information and access to placements relevant to the course. The availability of mentorship schemes, online discussions, and one to one talks with staff members means that I feel confident in building up my CV and getting great advice from professionals.

Courtney Wood

Meet the Members Series

Courtney Wood


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