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RTPI launches site to raise awareness of planning among public

Words: Laura Edgar
Planning / Shutterstock

A 'Planning Your World' website has been launched by the RTPI to raise awareness of the planning professions within the general public.

Using the website, the institute intends to illustrate the value of planning within the community. It will host case studies and profiles of current planners and aim to help young people to develop careers in the industry.

An RTPI survey of 2,000 people in July 2021 found:

  • 28.5 per cent recognised that planners can influence the economy.
  • 32.7 per cent recognised that planners can influence recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 37.4 per cent recognised that planners can influence issues around climate change and the environment.

The idea for a website came about following a survey of 2,000 people in July 2021. The survey sought to gauge public understanding of the planning professions.

It found that 73.2 per cent claimed to understand the role of town planners but they “did not truly comprehend” the scope of the professions or the ways in which planners can “positively impact” communities, the economy and the climate (see box).

The website will be regularly updated with case studies and profiles, and planners will be encouraged to share case studies of their work for inclusion on the site.

Victoria Hills, chief executive of RTPI, said the institute was “shocked” by the results.

“If we are to train the next generation of planners, we need people to understand the importance of the industry today.

“That’s why we’re proud to launch our Planning Your World site, a user-friendly hub packed with industry knowledge directly from experts. It is our hope at the RTPI that this new interactive website will be a launch pad for potential new planners, who can see that a career in planning is richly rewarding and has a genuine positive impact on the lives of millions.”

Timothy David Crawshaw, president of RTPI, added: “There is a concerning lack of understanding surrounding the planning industry, as demonstrated by the RTPI survey. Planning is about more than just housing and new development. It is a world-changing profession with positive impacts on the economy, health and wellbeing, as well as holding the ability to tackle the climate crisis.

“Professional planners take into account the interests of local communities, technical considerations such as transport infrastructure and the environmental impacts of developments to ensure the best outcomes for the local area. I’m proud that one of my first acts as RTPI president in 2022 has been to launch an initiative that demonstrates these values.

“Education is a cornerstone of the RTPI, from apprenticeships to scholarships and university accreditation. Planning Your World aims to target an even more inclusive demographic to help those interested, from all ages and backgrounds, understand the industry and learn how they too can improve their communities through a career in planning.”

To submit a case study to the RTPI, email: [email protected] Visit the website here.

Image credit | Shutterstock