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RTPI: blog round-up: What planning says about waiting for the doctor

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A round-up of RTPI blogs: 13 October - 6 November, 2015

What planning says about waiting for the doctor

On Christmas Eve last year, when I was gratefully attending my GP surgery with a torn ligament in my ankle, The Guardian reported a “6.45 wait at one Surrey practice for appointments”: Rebecca Collins, 33, said: “The only way to get an appointment for that day is to queue at 6.45 am… I’ve queued three times in the last four weeks.” The Guardian reported that the Sunbury health centre was designed for 6,000 patients but is now serving 19,000 “with new housing expected to increase that number by 4,000.” The health centre “complained of the council approving new housing without consulting the surgery” ('Pre-dawn queue highlights pressures on surgeries, say GPs', The Guardian, 24th December 2014).

By Richard Blyth, head of policy

Celebrating World Cities Day and the role of planners 

As we celebrate World Cities Day this Saturday 31st October it is time to reflect on how the global community is addressing global challenges and what we, as a profession, are doing to help. Most countries are facing issues such as rapid urbanisation, traffic congestion, adapting to climate change, loss of natural and cultural heritage, food security, and pollution. For the first time in our history, there are also more people living in cities than in rural areas. ‘Our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities’, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarked in 2012.

By Marion Frederiksen, international policy and research officer

Will Ireland learn from past planning mistakes?

Looking out the window of a plane on the way to London from Dublin this week reminded me of how naïve a recent article calling for some unnamed force to ‘just concrete over’ the greenbelt was. The clear distinction between built up areas and the countryside as the flight descends into England is in stark contrast to the popcorn development you leave behind in Leinster (one of the provinces of Ireland situated in the east of the country), where the slither of housing into the countryside serves as a reminder of the building free for all that took place during the previous decade.

By Joe Kilroy, policy office 

Are cuts putting planning on the brink? 

Another week, another report pointing to the under-resourcing of local planning authorities. Last week’s annual British Property Federation (BPF) and GL Hearn planning survey pointed to a “planning system on the brink”. According to the survey, half of all local planning authorities think that the environment for planning has got worse or much worse since 2010, and more than half think that under-resourcing will present a significant challenge to delivery over the next year.

By Dr Michael Harris, deputy head of policy and research

Why we need to talk about ageing in place

The first day of October marked the United Nations (UN) celebrating the International Day of Older Persons. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated for the occasion that “making cities inclusive of older persons means generating opportunities for their economic and social participation in accessible and safe environments. It also means providing affordable housing as well as the health and social services needed to support ageing in place." This resonated with the theme of the latest RTPI South East conference in Brighton on Planning for an Ageing Population, a theme the RTPI considered in its RTPI Planning Horizons papers Future-Proofing Society and Promoting Healthy Cities.

By Victoria Pinoncely, research officer


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