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RTPI blog round-up: How we’re building consensus on planning’s central role in delivery

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 8 September - 4 November, 2016

British planning as a roaring success story

Think about New England and what do you see: clap board houses, tidal inlets, sail boats in the breeze, moonlight in Vermont?

A visit a couple of weeks ago from a University of Pennsylvania 'charette' swiftly dispelled those images.

Outside Boston, New York and one or two favoured places, the New England story is of rust belt towns, overloaded or decaying infrastructure (road, rail and air), struggling city centres, deindustrialisation and deprivation.

By Ian Wray, visiting professor in geography and planning, visiting fellow in the Heseltine Institute for public policy and practice, University of Liverpool

Reflections on Habitat III

Does the New Urban Agenda (NUA) agreed by all member states at Quito provide the conceptual and methodological framework for addressing this challenge? Does it create the basis for socially equitable and environmentally sustainable, as well as economically efficient urban areas to provide homes, services and jobs for the existing urban populations and the projected increase during the coming decades?

By Geoffrey Payne, an international housing and urban development consultant focusing on developing countries

Habitat III: the verdict from a young planner

One of the first things I noticed at the conference was that planning professionals were included in the discussion at nearly every event I attended. Planners were present in panels and audiences alike, and some of the best speakers I saw were planners. Politicians made frequent references to the value of planning. Public health, international development, architecture, and housing professionals spoke of the importance of working with planners in order to combine expertise.

By Frances Thompson, masters student in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield

How we’re building consensus on planning’s central role in delivery

In order to deliver the needs and unmet aspirations of the community, so clearly brought to the fore during the EU referendum, planning will have to play a more central role in order for politicians to deliver their promises. For planners to do this, politicians must share our vision for planning.

By Josh Rule, communications and public affairs officer, RTPI

What we can learn from Ireland's new housing strategy

Ireland’s ‘Celtic tiger’ era housing and planning policy is often seen as an example of ‘what not to do’ in order to deliver sustainable development, which is why the recently published housing strategy gives pause for thought.

By Joseph Kilroy, policy officer, RTPI

Planning for freedom

The Adam Smith Institute – arch-critics of planning – recently ‘came out’ as neoliberals.

I’m surprised it took them so long.

True, the term ‘neoliberal’ has been used mainly by academic critics of ‘free market’ thinking. But it can just act as a useful shorthand for describing the contemporary resurgence of nineteenth century laissez-faire economic thinking, leading to policies such as privatisation and deregulation.

By Dr Michael Harris, deputy head of policy and research, RTPI

13 things I learned at Habitat III 

Now that we've packed up the Global Planners Network stand at Habitat III and as the New Urban Agenda is formally adopted, I have reflected on what I have learned from attending the conference and how things have moved on since the RTPI attended Habitat II some 20 years ago.

By Trudi Elliott, chief executive, RTPI

Why we need politicians to share our vision for planning

To say it’s been a big year in politics would be an understatement. In May there were elections in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales followed by local elections across England. In June we voted on our membership in the European Union, we decided to leave.

By Josh Rule, communications and public affairs officer, RTPI

Could Brexit make Britain a cleaner, greener nation?

As Theresa May’s government starts to gather its thoughts on the departure of the UK from the EU, a new poll shows that both leave and remain voters want to see equal or greater levels of protection for wildlife and wild areas than are currently provided by EU law. A clear message for government, it seems, from camps which are often portrayed as worlds apart.

James Harris, policy and networks manager, RTPI