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Dear President Nthato Minyuku and members of the South African Planning Institute

It is my great privilege as the President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners representing more than 40 000 planners around the globe to wish the participants of the 8th Planning Africa conference a highly successful event.

`The Making of Modern African Cities' is an excellent theme and the concept of 'grappling with realities' will inspire attendees to tackle the hard issues we in the planning profession need to deal with.

In particular, I am excited to see you considering the potential changes in cities as we move to future and modern times. Key changes in cities such as urbanization, rising inequality, challenges to service provision and costs of decreasing density are all key issues as noted in the recent publication Urbanization and Development Emerging Futures (UN Human Settlement Programme 2016). Your program and sub- themes will help attendees including the planning profession be inspired and able to achieve your goal of responding dynamically to the needs and aspirations of communities and assist in progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I would love to have joined you for this event but I am required in my work role ahead of the Commonwealth Games here in my city next April.

I look forward to hearing outcomes and key solutions derived during this conference.

Conferences are a time to reinvigorate, regenerate and share learnings. A time to help plan for the future, while asking yourselves the hard questions and helping to articulate the value of planning. Planning matters and planners add value in the tough decisions about developing the future state of our communities.

My best wishes for this event. I wish you well.


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Dyan Currie

President Commonwealth Association of Planners