I’m Jess Jones, and I’m a Graduate Planner at Arup in their Liverpool office. Arup is a global and multidisciplinary firm of engineering consultants, designers, development planners and project managers (plus so much more), and together, we work to shape a better world.
At Arup, my role as Graduate Planner has led me to be involved in a wide range of projects at varying scales – from an aviation policy review for Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s Decarbonisation Plan, to a global research report about the safety and equity of women in cities around the world. I’m also Arup Liverpool’s Connect Out rep – Connect Out is Arup’s LGBTQ+ network, and I offer support and share resources to my office cohort to foster inclusivity.
I’m currently based in Liverpool, and have been living here for over 5 years. I chose to study in Liverpool as it isn’t too far from my family home on the Wirral, and being symbiotic with regeneration, it seemed the perfect place to complete my MPlan Town and Regional Planning degree.
Liverpool City Region has always felt inspirational to me. It is a place of possibility. Growing up during the 2000’s, I witnessed the development of Liverpool One and the Capital of Culture in 2008, and throughout my time at university, I saw the progression of The Spine and other world class developments in the Knowledge Quarter, Peel’s Liverpool Waters, and now the Wirral Waters development. From a region in partial decline, to a thriving tourist and leisure destination with a growing knowledge economy and excellent transport links, it has been astounding to experience the impact of positive and progressive investment.
Liverpool City Region and their respective councils are currently working on some great initiatives; ones that mean a lot to me, and I’m sure will benefit others. On International Women’s Day, for example, the Combined Authority committed to achieving more gender balance in the Combined Authority’s workforce and working with partners to co-develop projects that address inequality. Emily Spurrell, Merseyside’s PCC, and Liverpool City Council, have also recently launched the Safer Streets campaign, supported by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, to address public harassment towards women. The development of such initiatives will help myself, and many other women, to feel safe and independent in the place we call home.
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