Using a life histories approach, the biographical interviews aimed to develop a detailed understanding of the evolution of professional roles and identities in planning. This was done through 20 in-depth interviews with planning practitioners to explore their career paths, understanding of the profession and purpose of planning, and their working practices.
The interviewees were selected purposefully by the team to ensure a mix of experience in the public, private and both sectors, gender balance, and a mix of career stage and working location across the UK.
The interviews were conducted in Summer/Autumn 2018, and were analysed collectively by the team to consider career trajectories and understanding of the public interest in planning. This involved exploring individual professional biographies through their auto-biographical account in their interviews with a team member, a timeline of their career pathway, their CV, and planning documents they had worked on. These individual biographies were collectively considered to draw out wider understandings of the influence of organisational form on planning practices.