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RTPI blog round-up: Why planners need to know economics

Words: Laura Edgar

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 7 October-10 November, 2017

Why planners need to know economics 

I have heard one academic publicly denounce the planning profession for daring to advise on how cities should be developed. Economics must rule he said (I paraphrase).  I seethed under my breath, wondering what kind of response we would get if planners started invading economists’ territory -  making statements about interest rates.

But very respected and highly placed people can get away with statements like this again and again. And not just about planning. Perhaps you might lie in bed wondering how this came to be. Or perhaps you have a life...

By Richard Blyth, head of policy, practice and research at the RTPI

16 ways to solve the housing crisis: one year on

In 2016 our 16 Ways in 16 Days campaign set out the Institute’s recommendations for tackling the housing crisis in England.

In advance of the 2017 Budget, the Institute is revisiting these recommendations to explore what has changed and highlight the changes we still need to see. Use #RTPI16ways on Twitter and join the debate…

By Trudi Elliott, chief executive and Tom Kenny, housing affordability lead at the RTPI

Battersea Power Station: town planning on an industrial scale

We’ve all heard the responses when you say ‘I’m a town planner’.  They generally fit into a number of categories along the lines of “What’s that?”, “Are you going to put a pub on every corner?”, and “How many towns have you planned?”

The exciting thing is, at Battersea Power Station, we are creating a new town centre for the area.  Across eight phases on our 42 acre site we are delivering over 4,000 homes, the equivalent amount of office space to that at More London, shops, events venues and restaurants on a new high street and across three floors in the Power Station, along with a vast array of other land uses.  We’re even facilitating and helping to fund an extension of the Northern Line so that this new town will have exceptional accessibility and connectivity within London…

By Gordon Adams, head of planning at Battersea Power Station Development Company

More and better housing starts with better streets

By securing local support and relieving pressure from local planning teams, street level permitted development rights could help combat the housing crisis, says London YIMBY.

Planners face ever-increasing challenges from lack of resources, endless reforms and increasing bureaucracy. The nation is building too few homes of the right kind in the right places, and many that are built are unpopular with local people. The London YIMBY campaign - Yes In My Back Yard - recently published the best ways we have seen to get more homes built with local support…

By John Myers, co-founder of London YIMBY

The truth about 'soft densification'

Whilst cities compete for monumental developments, with the height of skyscrapers and the zeitgeist of project architects the key barometers of thriving urbanism, a quieter densification revolution is taking place. Within the gaps and shadows of our urban fabric, owners and small developers are cumulatively creating homes at a scale to rival the largest housebuilder and the most significant regeneration project…

By Dr Richard Dunning, lecturer at theUniversity of Liverpool, Hannah Hickman, senior research fellow at University of the West of England and professor John Henneberry, University of Sheffield

Message from the Conservative Party conference fringe: it is time for delivery

“You cannot ask men to stand on their own two feet if you give them no ground to stand on.” With the UK facing the some of the biggest post-war housing and planning challenges I was reminded of this quote from Ian Macleod, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, during this year’s Conservative Party conference.

Under their banner of ‘Building a country that works for everyone’ there was always a possibility that the major issues of planning for infrastructure and housing would become the elephant in the room. Thankfully, the RTPI, through three ‘fringe’ events, ensured that this wasn’t to be the case.

By Stephen Wilkinson MRTPI, president of the RTPI

Will the housing and planning minister have enough time to tackle his full in-tray?

Which position is more precarious? Housing & Planning Minister or football manager?

This image, which I came by via @NobleFrancis on Twitter, reveals that Alok Sharma is the 15th Housing Minister in 20 years, with the average tenure being just 16 months.

According to this piece the average tenure of a football manager is also 16 months.

By Samuel Stafford MRTPI, strategic land director at Barratt Developments PLC