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RTPI blog round-up: Transforming the green belt; Planners can make renewable energy a bigger success

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 5 May-8 June, 2018

Transforming the green belt

The Landscape Institute is calling for a strategic review of Green Belt policy.  We accept that the reasons for the original legislation are even more acute today, but despite political support, it is not serving the interests of the public.

Green Belt designation pre-dates the sustainable development imperative, and it was neither adopted across the whole country, nor applied consistently. Furthermore, the Green Belt boundaries are constantly being amended through numerous periodic reviews of Local Plans. There are legitimate concerns about some parts of the Green Belt preventing the best use of infrastructure and restricting legitimate growth of some of our towns…

By Merrick Denton-Thompson OBE FLI, president of the Landscape Institute.

Planners can make renewable energy a bigger success

Roughly a quarter of electricity is generated by renewable energy in the UK. The dramatic fall in cost and the continued electrification of heating and transport will result in a major increase in renewable developments going forward.

Renewable energy production will also form a crucial component of the wider UK Industrial Strategy, through the creation new supply chains and jobs alongside the delivery of affordable and reliable energy for businesses.

At a strategic and local level, planning will be crucial to identifying, developing and approving suitable developments whilst integrating and empowering key stakeholders, such as local communities…

By Robbie Calvert, policy and networks adviser at the RTPI

Cities hold the future in their own hands

When the White House announced that the United States would exit the Paris Agreement in June 2017, over 380 U.S. cities along with states, businesses and universities reacted to this with a campaign promising to help the U.S. fulfil its international obligations under the agreement themselves.

This response from cities demonstrates how urban issues that were once peripheral to most major international gatherings are now receiving attention from national governments and leading international organisations…

By Samer Bagaeen MRTPI, professor of planning at the University of Kent and associate director for City Relationships with 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.

General Data Protection Regulation

On 25 May 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came in to force, protecting and strengthening data protection both within the EU and covering the export of personal data outside the EU.

These changes mean that businesses, both small and large, will need to ensure that they are aware of their new responsibilities and are fully compliant in order to avoid large fines. On the plus side it will mean that you’ll stop getting all those marketing emails clogging up your inbox!

This blog explains the main rules and what the new GDPR will mean for you as a planner.

By Berenice Seel, data protection officer at the RTPI.

Cities need to cool down to survive

On a heated and climate-stressed planet, cities need to cool down. This year, we have witnessed another warm winter in the Artic, causing (again) massive meltdowns of the Arctic ice layers. The frequency of this occurrence indicates that it is too late to re-freeze the Arctic with current mitigation efforts.

The time has come for urban planners and designers to focus on adaptation to climate change as a major new planning paradigm. Mitigation is not the only option any more, but its combination with adaptation has  become one of the imperatives for improving  day-to-day life in cities.

By Milena Ivkovic, vice president of International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).