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My journey to common good land use

Louis Smith-Lassey

Louis joins Shared Assets as our new Projects Officer. In his first blog, he introduces himself and why he cares about common good land use.

As a physical geographer by education, I have always been interested in how land responds to natural processes and human uses. I became interested in understanding how the built environment is utilised by humans, after my introduction to urban planning during my undergraduate geography degree. Being a born and bred Londoner, advancing into a career that would allow me to study and improve the built environment was a natural progression. After completing an MA in Urban Design and Planning at London South Bank University in January 2020. I was exposed to new ways of thinking and critique, such as questioning the notion of what makes a good design and who will benefit the most?

I began to specialise in green infrastructure during my final year of undergraduate and masters study. Gaining a better understanding of the vital roles it plays in the development and enhancement of different locales. During a green space research internship at CPRE London, I used my knowledge of green infrastructure to contribute to their research report ‘London’s Green Belt: our climate safety belt’ (March 2020). With prior experiences in commercial property and planning, my time at CPRE revealed how disposable land is to those who govern it. Providing room to question how much land use policies are being adhered to at the national and regional level.  

 

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, I spent time reflecting on the harsh reality that many black people do not have adequate access to green spaces. As the project lead for urban planning for Black Geographers. My aim is to increase diversity and inclusion in the study of geography, using my role to enable black people to experience and reap the rewards of common good land use. The notion of common good land is why I was thrilled to join Shared Assets as the new Projects Officer in November 2020.

Through the initial experiences witnessed in the short time I have been at Shared Assets, my respect for the company continues to grow. The approaches to working and projects I am a part of have furthered my passion for ensuring land is accessible and beneficial to as many people as possible. I am looking forward to honing my specialism in green infrastructure and promoting the health and wellbeing benefits that accompany it through my work. Subsequently, this has presented me with different ways of looking and thinking about land. Enabling me to grow both personally and professionally as a person and a member of society and reminding me that with land we can.

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