Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Manager, WSP

Deb Lee Sang has an established career as an urban designer.  She has had involvement in the full gamut of projects the profession has to offer – from strategic direction, the regeneration of town centres, transit-led development, public realm improvements and engagement-led design initiatives


Taking a place-led approach is fundamental for Deb, respecting land and culture, whilst understanding the drivers and appetite for change is key.  She firmly believes that leading with place is essential for sustainable change and creating uplifting urban environments.


She manages a team of Landscape Architects & Urban Designers at WSP, a global consultancy who work in the spirit of integration, creativity and purpose.  They lead with place whilst keeping an eye on what the future holds.


Inclusive infrastructure through a gendered lens

Women represent about 50% of the planning profession in New Zealand, but does our built environment truly reflect our presence in the industry?


In terms of built environment professionals, women are relatively well represented within Planning. At 50%, we out-rank female presence in the Architecture profession, which sits at 29%, and females in the Engineering industry at 14% (NZ figures).


This offers massive potential to shift the dial on inclusive infrastructure. While considerably improved, our built environment still has a way to go to ensure streets and public spaces offer a sense of personal safety, that our public transport systems meet the needs of women, and the design of homes that provide dignity to single mothers.


We have achieved parity in the numbers of women who work in the planning profession - how can we use this to achieve greater influence on our peers, such as architecture and engineering, to encourage more inclusive outcomes in the built environment, as well as the policy and guidance that shapes them?

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