Commemorating World Town Planning Day |09 November 2023
Planning Authority honours four
individuals for invaluable service
By Vidya Gappy
On the occasion of World Urbanism Day, also known as World Town Planning Day, a special ceremony was held yesterday to honour the contributions of four individuals to the Seychelles Planning Authority (SPA).
These exceptional individuals had their names enshrined on the Wall of Fame in recognition of their invaluable service.
The honorees are Marlene Lionnet (posthumously), the first lady appointed to the Planning Board, and Florence Benstrong (posthumously), the second lady appointed to the Planning Board. Additionally, Patrick Lablache, a long-serving Planning Authority board member, and Terry Biscornet, a dedicated staff member who held various positions within the Planning Authority, were celebrated for their significant roles in the organisation.
The small event, hosted at the ministry, featured the unveiling of a plaque and heartfelt recognition of the recipients and their families.
The Minister for Land and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, expressed his gratitude towards the department's dedicated staff and highlighted their efforts in safeguarding Seychelles' limited resources.
“It is very important to preserve the unique environment and explore sustainable coexistence with nature. For the last three years, Planning Authority has ongoing discussions with the World Bank to improve land management techniques. The government remains committed to seeking global partnerships for the betterment of land management practices,” he noted.
Angela Servina, the chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Authority, emphasised that Town Planning Day is an occasion to appreciate the relentless efforts of the staff in helping people realise their dreams.
“The chosen theme for this year is to learn from global practices and apply them locally, aligning with the ongoing work at the Planning Authority. This marks the second year of celebrating this significant day, which is gaining recognition and participation from many. We are trying our best to keep serving the population,” she added.
World Urbanism Day offers an opportunity to reflect on the pivotal role of urban planning in our ever-changing world. Urbanism encompasses the study and practice of designing and enhancing urban environments with a focus on creating more livable, sustainable, and efficient cities. Urban planners, architects, and policymakers are instrumental in shaping cities, influencing transportation systems, housing, green spaces, and cultural amenities.
The inception of World Urbanism Day, also known as World Town Planning Day, dates back to 1949 when it was first celebrated by the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). The day's purpose is to raise awareness about urban planning and its positive impact on the quality of life for city residents. Over the years, it has evolved into a global event embraced by urban planning professionals, communities, and policymakers worldwide.
Furthermore, the Planning Authority, which boasts 47 staff, is gearing up to organise a special event for its dedicated staff, along with an exhibition on Praslin, continuing their commitment to promoting sustainable urban planning and development.