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Joanna Averley

Chief Planner

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Country or State

United Kingdom


Joanna is a planner who has worked across all aspect of the town planning, regeneration, built environment and development process. She has worked in consultancy, charity and as a government adviser. She has worked as the coordinator of multi-disciplinary teams on significant projects across the UK. Joanna's roles have been high profile and outward facing. Her management skills alongside her planning and place-making knowledge are both broad and in-depth. Early consultancy focused on research into housing, planning, public space, sustainable patterns of development and world city policies. Joanna was then involved in major masterplanning and regeneration projects, notably the rebuilding of Manchester City Centre following the bombing in 1996. Joanna was the DCEO and Director of Design and Planning Advice at CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) for a decade. CABE's mission was to improve the quality of new buildings, space and places across England. She led advisory, best practice, training and campaigning work to clients relating to artists' studios to schools, public space, parks and gardens, housing and hospitals. She was seconded to be the Interim Director of Design for the London Olympic Delivery Authority in 2005 and to be part of the set up team for the Homes and Communities Agency in 2008. After CABE Joanna was Interim Chief Executive at Centre for Cities where she worked closely with Whitehall and cities on all aspects of economic development and public sector policy for cities. She was a founding Trustee of the Centre and served on the Board for 10 years. Joanna then ran LandAid Charitable Trust, where she renewed the charity's profile, brand, partnerships, approach to grant giving, volunteering programme, team, governance and resulting increase in income. LandAid fundraises and provides capital grants to support some of the UK's most impactful youth homeless charities. Over the last few years Joanna has led the spatial planning and urban design thinking on two major transport projects - Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2. Recent non-exec and advisory roles include being a London Mayor's Design Advocate, Chair of the London Borough of Wandsworth's Design Review Panel and Trustee of MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology). Joanna is a qualified town planner and RTPI member.

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Current Position

Chief Planner at Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities


Town and Country Planning, Town Planning

Past Talks

Housing 2022