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RTPI blog round-up: What does Brexit mean for planning and planners?

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 8 July - 5 August, 2016

Guest blog: Brexit uncertainties for planning 

A month on from the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, there has been much political upheaval with more to come, but has daily life changed? The economy appears to be operating at the same level, unemployment is down again and retail sales are at expected levels, with a bounce back after the stay at home period during the campaign. Yet as The Economist reminds us, the underlying picture is not the same as before 23 June. Although too early yet for the Brexit effect to be seen in quarterly economic data, job vacancies have reduced by 25 per cent, business confidence is at its lowest since 2008, housing company values have fallen, property funds have been hit with runs to remove investment, many projects have been placed on hold and the pound devalued by 10 per cent.

By Janice Morphet, visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL

Planning Out – a new network for LGBT+ planners

Planning Out is about winning hearts and minds in the ʻsecond waveʼ of LGBT+ rights where gay people can lead their lives in the workplace and wider society with the same level of acceptance and dignity that straight people enjoy. Despite huge advances over the past 20 years, thereʼs still lots of room for improvement.

By Rob Krzyszowski and Simon Brooksbank, co-founders of Planning Out

Five things we learned from the Scottish Government response to the independent planning review

We now have a road map towards a new Scottish planning system. It is welcome that the minister has responded to the independent panel's report quickly and that he engaged with key organisations in advance of this, including RTPI Scotland. Helpfully, the response sets out a way forward with a white paper to be published by autumn/winter and that this will lead to a Planning Bill in 2017.

By Craig McLaren, director of RTPI Scotland

What does Brexit mean for planning and planners? 

It is too early to understand yet what the full long and short term impacts of the EU referendum result will be on the planning profession, in terms of its work and the legal and economic context in which it operates. We know that economic confidence has taken a severe shock which has implications for development, housebuilder share values, sterling and government revenue. To many in the built environment professions this seems like a depressing rerun of 2008. However there are differences in terms of how the finance industry works and in terms of the wider global economic outlook which may mean extrapolating from a past experience is even less wise this time than usual.

By Richard Blyth, head of policy, practice and research

A plan for homes for all now 

Theresa May’s pledge to create “a country that works for all” must make “homes for all” a priority. RTPI has a comprehensive package of ideas. Like others I have pored over the Prime Minister’s manifesto for a country that works for everyone. It recognises the Brexit vote was a vote for serious change and nowhere is this more starkly needed than in housing .

By Trudi Elliott, chief executive

Garden city principles: lessons learnt or not? 

Our housing market remains in crisis, yet the problems we have with it are neither new nor unique. Over 100 years ago there was also a familiar story of a private landlord dominated market, high rents, poor housing and rising land values. As local municipalities attempted to alleviate these problems through better infrastructure, it inevitably led to a rise in land values and rents. The main beneficiaries were the property and landowners who were able to capture this value and profit from it. It was recognised that a better model was needed.

By Thomas-Emanuel Hoepfner, co-founder and managing director, New Garden Cities Alliance

Nature-based solutions for the contemporary city 

We now live in the global urban age – but one also marked by a series of interrelated environmental challenges and risks, particularly arising from anticipated climate change. For much of the 20th century, planners have viewed ‘urban’ and ‘nature’ as opposite ends of the spectrum, with nature often associated with the countryside and landscape, serving as a backdrop to urbanisation. In this way, nature was preserved or protected but planning for natural capital was largely separated from urban development.

By Mark Scott, professor of planning, School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin

What ‘socially-engaged’ planning research looks like 

RTPI hosted a roundtable at the World Planning School Congress in Rio de Janeiro last week on the theme of ‘the links between theory and practice: Is research helping us to address global urban challenges?’ What I took away from the discussion was that academic research can and does matter, but that social engagement requires very different approaches and skills among researchers.

By Dr Michael Harris, deputy head of policy and research