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03/06/2016

RTPI blog round-up: Is the English planning system delivering sustainable development?

Words: Laura Edgar
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A round-up of RTPI blogs: 7 May - 3 June, 2016

Guest blog: Do we need a fairer approach to marine spatial planning?

Regulating marine space has become increasingly necessary due to the growing industrialisation of the seas and oceans (through fishing, energy use and other developments) and the need to protect fragile or degraded ecosystems. Increasing demand for marine space and the rise of industries fixed in space, such as wind farms and aquaculture, is resulting in competition amongst various users. Environmental assessments suggest that marine biodiversity is decreasing, through, for example, the transformation of food chains and growing marine pollution.

By Wesley Flannery, lecturer in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s University, Belfast, and Geraint Ellis, chair of environmental planning and director of research in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s University, Belfast

Starting your own private planning practice

Have you thought about starting your own planning consultancy? Would you like to be your own boss, improve your work/life balance or focus on a particular field of planning? Before you jump in there is some careful planning to be done first.

By Sarah Lewis, planning practice officer, and Katherine Pollard, policy and networks adviser

Guest blog: Tackling poverty and inequality needs to take account of place, not just people

When it comes to tackling poverty and inequality, can more be achieved by improving the circumstances of individuals than can be achieved by targeting the places where they live? This deceptively simple question has been at the heart of urban policy debates in the UK for half a century. Those who favour an individualised approach to tackling poverty and inequality often point to evidence of how personal capabilities, skills, aspirations, and family circumstances directly affect individual outcomes and life chances. This line of thinking has been particularly marked in recent policy agendas in the UK, most notably around welfare and planning reform.

By Dr Stephen Hincks, senior lecturer in spatial planning at the University of Manchester

Guest blog: Could long-term city visioning reinvigorate strategic planning? 

Strategic planning frameworks are back in vogue as part of city-regional and county-regional devolution deals. But how can their production avoid needless concerns about a return to regional spatial strategies? To my mind, the answer does not lie in clarifying their legal status or endless discussions about their influence in the planning system, but rather in differentiating their role by focusing on longer and wider horizons, and producing a light touch form of plan with a strong vision and set of guiding principles.

By Corinne Swain, Arup Fellow

Guest blog: Why we need garden villages

I’ve spent the last decade working with successive governments on how we address the fundamental question of how we supply the homes we need – and that means cracking the politics of land supply, the economics of housing delivery, and the all too often poor quality of what we have been delivering. Today, the default option for new homes is endless ‘anywhere town’ estates crammed onto the green fields around historic communities, built there in the name of ‘sustainability’ but in fact adding to congestion. It’s not that this is what planners aspire to. It’s what the economics of land supply and concentrating development on the urban fringe delivers.

By Lord Matthew Taylor of Goss Moor, visiting professor of planning at Plymouth University

Is the English planning system delivering sustainable development? 

In March 2012, the Coalition Government concluded its major reform of the English planning system and launched the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – a set of streamlined policies united by a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Fast-forward to 2016, and the NPPF has just celebrated its fourth birthday. This seems a good time to see how it has performed. Did the reforms of 2012 encourage sufficient new development, and has that development been sustainable?

By James Harris, policy and networks manager

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