Mike Harris

Senior Associate Town Planner

Mike is a key voice for our stance on urban design. A keen cyclist, he is passionate about creating places that put people first, not vehicles.

He leads large scale town planning and master planning projects, from housing and healthcare to leisure and student accommodation, often acting as a conduit between clients, consultants and the design team to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Mike, can you tell us the current big trend in planning?

The housing crisis. It’s one of the biggest challenges, not just in planning, but across society. It is critical we address this from a place making stance.

While current, it arguably has been so for years now, which shows the scale of the problem we face in delivering the right homes, in the right places for communities to thrive.

And what are the key challenges associated with that?

Housing delivery is a key challenge and will continue to be until there is real political commitment to delivery.

Linked to this though is wellbeing and our general health. Planning has its roots in solving public health issues in city slums and, while we aren’t there now, the challenge of ensuring that people stay active and healthy to reverse our increasing obesity epidemic is key.

So, over the next five years I think we will see planning even more at the forefront of supporting communities and reducing the burden on other public sector services, particularly the NHS.

Planners really can make a difference to people’s lives.

Where do you see your career taking you?

People recognise that planning is broadly a tool to deliver great projects. I love the ability we have at Stride Treglown to get involved in projects at a range of scales.

I hope to build on this opportunity and become a more rounded urban planner, one day I might even be able to draw better than my 4 year old!

What’s the greatest invention ever?

The bike. So simple, yet it opens up so many options. It might look old fashioned at times, but I think it is a key part of a future mobility in cities alongside decent, reliable and low cost public transit.

Also the Aeropress (even if only two people in the office know what it is).

And finally, your proudest moment?

Having kids. A cliché I know, but they open your eyes to look at things differently. I think as planners and designers we need those experiences to help us see solutions that are fit for all, irrespective of age, gender and mobility.

Industry Bodies:
  • Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI)
  • Board Trustee of Avon Wildlife Trust
Awards:
  • The team won Planning Consultancy of the Year in 2016 in the Planning and Place Making Awards