Researcher wins Young Planner award


Senior lecturer and PhD researcher in Planning Simeon Shtebunaev has been awarded the Young Planner of the Year title at the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) West Midlands Awards for Planning Excellence.

The awards, which took place last week, celebrate outstanding planners, plans and projects that demonstrate the power of planning in our regions, highlighting exceptional examples of how planning and planners have a positive impact on our quality of life in creating exceptional places and protecting our environment.

In recognising and rewarding excellence, the RTPI aims to inspire others to achieve the same high standards.

Simeon is currently undertaking his PhD research into the role of teenagers in the planning of future cities, as well as lecturing students here at BCU. He is a passionate advocate for youth-friendly future cities working with developers, local authorities and professional organisations. He is an ambassador for town planning across the cultural and architecture sectors, promoting the value of planning on regional, national and international level.

Putting what he believes into action, he teaches secondary school children in underrepresented communities, co-ordinates an annual summer school in architecture and urban planning in Bulgaria, and researches the opportunities for young people to shape the futures of their cities.

He said: “Planning for me is a manifestation of our survival instincts as a human species; it’s an activity that we need to continue improving upon if we are to protect the natural world, innovate as humanity and improve our societies.

“More than ever, we need to think globally and act locally. Encouraging more young people into the planning profession and engaging them as active citizens in their urban environment to change their local areas is a top priority of mine.”

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