Our environment is too important to be left to the professionalsl It is alsotoo important to be understood, developed, enhanced and sustained withoutthe involvement of professionals. The natural outcome of these two points isthe need for partneranip in developing an attractive and sustainable envi-ronment for all. Partnership in this case concerns joint working at all lev-els and stages between the private sector, the public sector, the voluntary/community sector and the wider community.There is however a key problem in that partnership works best when allpartners start off broadly equal. Such equality is patently not the case Inrelation to issues of planning and design. The community -whether as anamalgam of individuals or in formal or informal groupings- is clearly theunequal partner. People, even when acting together, lack the knowledge, ac-cess, cash, stability, back-up resources and organisation adequate for themto have real influence on their own environments. This is particularly truein relation to the long-standing schisms of society along the lines of age, sexand race. Children may be left out, as are ethnics minority groups and wom-en: all are either not represented at all in the environmental powerhouses(including the professions) or are under-represented.Instituing change in such imbalanced but powerful systems- ie. to requestpeople to give up some of their pover-is a long and arduous task. There arestarting points however and, if undertaken with a very clear view of limita-tions, the whole wide worlk of 'education'offers us an as yet undeveloped op-portunity. 'Information is power' we are told. It may be a half-thruth, asknowledge with no outlet can be extremely frustrating, but there is valuablework to be done. What is more, environmental education world-wide, it onecould assemble its multitude of elements of good practice, would offer us andextremely good catalogue of approaches and ways forward. However, to most people environmental education remains a narrow processfocusing on 'natural' environments and taking place in schools. Our concernshould also be with built and developed environments, social, economic andpolitical processes and the everyday environmental experinces of people. Interms of target groups it is essential to address (as well as schoolchildren)adults and youth, people in retirement, professionals (in training and atmid-career), developers, elected representatives, funding agencies adn soforth. Work with such groups can take the form of traditional education(classes, seminars etc.) but can also include distance-learning, group de-velopment and 'on the-job training'. It should also happen between the manygroups rather than just for each in isolation. The methods used shouldbroaden out, from lectures' to role-playing, bookwork to problem-solving,creativity techniques to computer-based learning. There are indeed proven,successful examples of all to these-as yet unconsolidated.It would be wrong to suggest that mere knowledge can change the world but itIs a crucial first stage. It Is only when we have a knowledgeable, critical,articulare and well organised populace that any real progress can be madetowards valuing the aspirations of all in society and when gratuitous ges-tures by the powerful to the powerless can be replaced with true partner-ship.