President’s Report 2002

Presidential Report to Membership

July 2002

Since I last reported to the membership almost two years ago, the International Planning History Society has continued to deliver its various services to members. At that time I reported that the Society was approaching a financial position where we will need to increase the membership fee. In fact, for various reasons, the scale and phasing of this increase has not yet been determined. It is worth repeating though that the present level of £10 sterling or equivalent has been maintained for many years, since well before the IPHS itself was created in 1993. The cost of membership is, by any standards, exceptionally low. In large part, this is because of our reliance on the voluntary labour of officers and the generous financial and other support which they enjoy from their own academic departments in matters such as travel, incidental postage and other expenses. Nevertheless the costs of producing and distributing our journal, Planning History, have risen substantially, to the point where they are now eating into our reserves. A rise in the membership fee is therefore inevitable though the level of the increase has not yet been determined.

A new President

As I indicated in my last report, my Presidential term expires at the end of 2002. It is the Council’s responsibility to appoint a new President. I can now report that this has been done and the Council has unanimously selected Robert Freestone of the University of New South Wales. Rob will be best known to members as the organizer of the 1998 Sydney conference, IPHS’s largest yet, and is a very active planning historian, the author or editor of many books, chapters and articles. He has served the IPHS and its predecessor the Planning History Group, in several capacities, latterly and Secretary-General. Rob’s term of office runs from 2003 to 2006 though, to ensure continuity, the handing over of responsibilities will begin from the London/Letchworth conference.

Changes of Officers

In 2000, I reported that several changes were in process amongst the officers of the Society. All these have now been implemented and the current postholders are:

Secretary-General – Robert Freestone
Treasurer – Michael Harrison
Editor, Planning History – Mark Clapson
Conference Convenor 2002-4 – Javier Monclús

The Following Remain Unchanged

Membership Secretary – Robert Home
Electronic Communications – Nihal Perera

Other changes will need to be implemented before the next Presidential report. A new Secretary-General is needed to replace Robert Freestone and Mark Clapson’s normal editorial stint will be completed in 2003.


After the highly successful Sydney and Helsinki conferences of 1998 and 2000, the great success of the London/Letchworth conference this year is a further sign of how well our biennial international conference programme is now developing. I am pleased to thank Maurits van Rooijen, the London/Letchworth Conference Convenor and his team on your behalf. We can also leave this conference looking forward to the 2004 IPHS conference. This is to be held in Barcelona and preliminary details of this important event are already available (in English and Spanish) at . The IPHS Conference Convenor during the period 2002-2004 will be Javier Monclús of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Conferences: Bids for IPHS Conference 2006

The officers and council of the International Planning History Society also invite bids to stage the biennial IPHS conference in 2006. Guidelines for bids have been prepared and are available from the President. The deadline for bids is the 30th September 2003. The 2006 conference will be seventh in the biennial series begun in 1994. However, with those organized or sponsored by our predecessor, the Planning History Group, it is actually the twelfth conference on international planning history. This is a remarkable achievement in which we can take great pride.

Gordon Cherry Memorial Lecture

Since 1998, our conference programme also commemorates our founding President, Gordon Cherry, with a Memorial Lecture delivered at each international conference. The first such lecture, by Professor Sir Peter Hall, opened the Sydney Conference and the second, by Professor Anthony King, was delivered at the Helsinki Conference. The third, at this conference is to be delivered by Professor Shun-ichi Watanabe of the Tokyo University of Science.


I want to end this, my last Presidential report, on a more personal note of farewell to the membership. I became President following Gordon Cherry’s untimely death. My first term of office was in fact completing what would have been his first period as President. Thereafter, the IPHS Council allowed me to continue to complete a further full term of four years. I suspect I will therefore remain unique in serving as President for six and a half years. For me, this has been a very rewarding period during which the Society has consolidated and built on previous achievements. I take particular pleasure in the part I have been able to play in developing our programme of international conferences. Though I intend to remain an active member of the Society and, I hope, the Council of IPHS, this is an appropriate opportunity to thank the membership of the Society for allowing me the privilege of being your President.

Professor Stephen V. Ward
President of the International Planning History Society
School of Planning
Oxford Brookes University
Oxford OX3 OBP, UK.
Fax: +44 (0)1865 483559