President of ECTP 1985
Guus Franken
23 February 1933 - 21 April 2016

It was with great sadness that we learned that Guus died following a long period of ill health. With the support of his family and his wife Maud, he faced his health difficulty with great strength and forbearance. Despite the restraint of a need for regular treatment, was able to travel regularly to his family cottage, near the community of Taize, in Burgundy, and continue with his community work.

Guus worked for many years as an urban planner all over the Netherlands as one of the consultants at the RBOI firm, later known as Stad en Landschap in Rotterdam – one of the big city planning consultancy firms in the Netherlands. One of his colleagues remarked that “he taught me to look in a different way at cities and cityscapes, explaining the beautiful things”.

For the Dutch, Guus was the big translator, being fluent in French, having grown up in the French Congo and in Brussels.

Guus took office as President of the Liaison Committee for Planners in the Member Countries of the European Union at a time when there had been six years of ground work done to prepare the Committee to step up to the next level for formal recognition within the European Commission.

Guus saw the work through to the setting up of the European Council of Town Planners with a formal event in Amsterdam in 1985 at which the delegates of the member countries signed their support to what we now have as the ECTP.

Guus was a tireless worker for the cause of planning, and in his later years he continued a life of devotion to his family, his church and maintained his interest in his chosen profession. He continued almost to the end of his life in his service to others, in his keen support of the work and interests of the Sisters of Mother Teresa.

Guus was a much beloved man in Ouddorp where he lived the last twenty years of his life and has now been laid to rest there where we reflect on Guus saying, “Entre tes mains Seigneur, je remets mon esprit”.

Hugh Crawford
With supporting testimony from
Helena Heyning, who attended Guus funeral on 26 April

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