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RTPI blog round-up: Reflections on my role as chair of the Transport Planning Network

Words: RTPI

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 4 July-7 August, 2020

Reflections on my role as chair of the Transport Planning Network

Whether now, four months ago or four years ago, good spatial planning requires integration between transport infrastructure and land use, and joined up policies for places and movement.

Yet bringing transport and land use planners together, never mind promoting joint policies, co-benefits and spatially-sound strategic thinking, is a perennial challenge. It is the purpose of the Transport Planning Network, supported by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Transport Planning Society, to face that challenge head-on...

By Hannah Budnitz, outgoing chair of the Transport Planning Network

Unlocking our high streets - the need for a clear vision

One of the advantages of the lockdown was discovering how to shop locally as we worked from home, but has lockdown led to two trends being deepened: a strong preference for at least some working from home by employees, and an acceleration in the decline of physical shopping in favour of on-line purchasing?

By Elizabeth Wrigley, owner of planning and communications consultancy Core Connections Ltd

Sporting and cultural events turn good public spaces into great places

Next year Coventry becomes the UK City of Culture and the following year the Commonwealth games comes to Birmingham.

These events will not only shine the media spotlight on both cities but will also attract thousands of visitors. It is during events like these that good public spaces become great places...

By Luke Hillson, chair of the West Midlands RTPI & chairperson of the West Midlands Urban Design Forum

Planning for the future or planning for the few?

A new task force, termed the Planning Commission, has recently been established by the government as part of its ambition to explore a ‘first-principles’ reform of the planning system. The exploration appears to be heavily influenced by the radical proposals set out in the Policy Exchange paper Rethinking the Planning System, which was published in January 2020. The forthcoming reform is potentially to advocate the introduction of a zonal-based planning system in England...

By Andrew Martin, senior planner at Braintree District Council

Planning is 'at the coalface of economic recovery'

Covid-19 has impacted on public sector service delivery in many ways, and planning is no exception. From reading various media articles and observing feedback from RTPI networks, such as the Independent Consultants’ Forum, it is clear that the quality of service provided during COVID-19 has varied greatly and it is not always a case of planning services being fully open for business. None of us could have predicted this global pandemic and be fully prepared for the associated restrictions, which as we all know, have had a catastrophic impact on our economy. Without wanting to be patronising or overly dramatic, the scale of the problem cannot be overstated, and as I see it, it is the biggest challenge our profession now faces, particularly in the public sector, in assisting with the economic recovery of the country and supporting our local economies...

By Derek McKenzie, chief planner at Sefton Council, Merseyside

A zoning tale

The excellent letter from Victoria Hills recently published in The Times refuted the proposition that a zoning system would improve the efficiency and speed of the planning process. Having worked in such a system, albeit not recently, I have no doubt that she is completely right that it would not and I am prompted to suggest why...

By former RTPI president Martin Bradshaw MRTPI (Rtd)