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Planners evolve to meet emerging
challenges looming on the horizon
Now halfway through his 12-month stint as RTPI president, Martin Willey takes stock of his targets and the
progress made against them while looking ahead at what lies in store for planning professionals in all areas
Six months into my presidential allembracing approach to develop
year, steady progress is being made ing communications skills to play
against my targets concerning pro more of a lead role across all of the
file, status, influence, member enga communities we seek to serve.
gement and chartered membership. Robert Upton, now elevated to
But what will the profession face in deputy chair of the infrastructure
12 months’ time? A new govern planning commission, has been an
ment, a new RTPI president, a new exceptional servant to the RTPI. He
secretarygeneral, a new junior vice delivered the education commis
president and a new board and chair. sion, New Vision, executive board–
What opportunities and challenges general assembly structure and
will they face? improved management structure.
The profession’s profile is evolv We are extremely grateful to Robert
ing — younger, more female and and wish him well.
more diverse. Interestingly, the 50– The economic climate and state of
50 public–private split is changing. public finances mean that we will
Possible increases in privatisation continue to face difficult conditions.
might change substantially, revers Nonetheless, in a recent presenta
ing the recent 70–30 proportions. tion I gave to the Association of
Whatever the composition of the European Planning Schools at the
membership, the RTPI’s profes University of Liverpool, I was able
sional standards will remain high. Development: private sector clients can lead push for better standards to offer career opportunities for
But we may need to invite private planners. On the international front
sector colleagues to lead the charge and democratic accountability can are the UN, the Organisation for
for more sustainable, welldesigned, not resist the rationale of a strategic Economic Cooperation and Dev
climate changeproof development planning approach. elopment and the EU.
by persuading their clients to drive The education and lifelong learn Among national government and
forward improved standards. ing committee is working hard on agencies are the DCLG, the DBERR,
In the public sector, the process new membership classes to embrace the DfT, the Department of Health,
will be streamlined but will not lose all those with responsibility for DEFRA, the Environment Agency,
the essential characteristic of engag planning. Of particular interest is its the HCA, the Planning Inspectorate,
ing local communities. Progress on work with international planning the Scottish Government, the Welsh
local development frameworks is bodies to see where reciprocal mem Assembly Government and the
improving and the RTPI is setting bership might open up a global net Northern Irish Executive. Local gov
up a commission to work with the work of topquality professionals. ernment, academia and the volun
government and its agencies to col Planning schools will introduce tary sector such as Friends of the
lect evidence of best practice and courses and modules to ensure that Earth, Amnesty International, Shel
put forward proposals to coincide we are properly equipped to tackle ter and Planning Aid are offered
with its response to the Killian– contemporary challenges. Sheffield along with private sector opportu
Pretty report in the autumn. Hallam University and the Homes nities in consultancy, development,
On my travels, I have met a former
regional assembly team in Yorkshire Any government and Communities Agency (HCA)
have already launched the UK’s first
investment and utilities.
So will we rise to these challen
and a Northwest Regional Develop
ment Agency team who reiterated
seeking efficiency foundation degree in sustainable
ges? My presidential theme of plan
ning — delivering solutions has
the case for strategic planning. This in public service RTPI junior vicepresident Rich been richly resourced in my inter
includes providing a lowrisk frame ard Summers and director of policy national, national and regional visits
work for investment, clarity for delivery cannot resist and partnerships Rynd Smith co so I am very confident that we will,
local authorities and resolving con
flict. Surely any government seeking
the rationale of ordinated the excellent Planning to
Live with Climate Change initiative.
with your help.
efficiency in public service delivery strategic planning We may have moved towards a more Martin Willey is RTPI president.
22 Planning 7 August 2009 www.Planningresource.co.uk
Delivering joined-up public services
The Total Place initiative PPS12 also states that LDFs should
review and coordinate land release
announced in the budget to provide for facilities. There will
earlier this year makes need to be reviews of where services
are now. Local authority chief exec
spatial planning key to utives were alerted to LDFs’ role in
joined-up public services, Total Place in a weekly circular from
Solace last month.
reports Janice Morphet The development of a local public
sector asset base is likely to help the
Total Place is the next step in deliv development of Total Place initia
ering joinedup approaches to pub tives and the LDF process. Many
lic services and investment. The property services have already star
initiative will focus on better access ted to map organisational property
to public services for citizens and ownership for asset management
tackling the culture of joinedup planning. This is a good start.
service delivery. These are expected Another source of information is
to achieve local transformation. national indicator NI175 on access
The objective is to improve public to services, which is held on a geo
service delivery while making serv graphic information system data
ices more efficient for users and Total Place: initiative seeks to make services more efficient for users base by highways departments. If
providers. Local development there is little available information,
frameworks (LDFs) are contributors be brought together to work more spending to support Total Place by then other partners and the Land
to Total Place and beneficiaries of effectively and efficiently. Kent’s using 20 per cent of their £67.3 mil Registry may be able to help.
the approaches it will promote. So will focus on a group of placebased lion budget to support work on the Total Place may be a useful initia
what is it and how does it relate to initiatives, multichannel access for use of capital funding. London’s tive that can bolster work on LDFs
spatial planning and LDFs? services, a single asset management RIEP Capital Ambition has already by engaging others in the process,
Total Place was announced in this strategy for public bodies and Mend announced a Londonwide approach particularly the corporate centre
year’s budget by Sir Michael Bichard ing Margate. These pilots will pro to Total Place. and local public bodies. This might
in a report on operational efficiency duce interim reports in October and The initial focus of the initiative also generate more resources in the
published on the same day. It has a combined report next March. is likely to be on better use of public process — important at times when
been backed by a £5 million fund to Total Place is also likely to be sector assets. This is also one of the all expenditure is under review.
support 13 pilots, each of which will developed before waiting for the key requirements for LDFs in PPS12,
take an individual policy theme. results of the pilots to be published. which states that they need to Janice Morphet is a director of RMJM
Two are specific to spatial plan The DCLG has directed regional review the locations of public serv Consulting and visiting professor at
ning. Durham is focusing its pilot on improvement and efficiency part ices to see whether they can be co University College London’s Bartlett
how housing and regeneration can nerships (RIEPs) to reprioritise their located and assets released. School of Planning.
Conference lands at Newcastle-Gateshead housing market renewal pathfinder
scheme at Walker Riverside. The
conference will allow time for dele
See how planners have gates to explore and reflect on some
of these schemes in workshops and
transformed bustling study tours.
Newcastle–Gateshead This year’s cost has been kept as
low as possible and there is an early
at the Young Planners bird discount — book before 4 Sep
Conference in October, tember and you only pay £99 + VAT.
The standard rate after this date is
suggests Andrew Dorrian £150 + VAT. There are limited stu
dent places at £45 + VAT.
The Young Planners Conference An optional conference dinner has
2009, Participation in Planning, will been organised at the Centre for
be held in the vibrant setting of New Life, an exciting science centre, on
castle–Gateshead on 2 to 3 October. Newcastle–Gateshead: profile raised by award-winning developments the Friday evening for £25 + VAT.
The twinning of Newcastle and Delegates can book by email, fax,
Gateshead has created a successful business districts, with Gateshead This year, the conference organis post or telephone.
tourist destination. town centre currently undergoing a ers are working with destination
The North East was forced to div major transformation. This master marketing agency Newcastle Gates Andrew Dorrian is on the young
ersify following the collapse of its plan included consultation to inves head Initiative to provide accom planners North East steering group
industrial base. The change in many tigate local people’s desires. modation, which can be booked and a student volunteer at Planning
areas is phenomenal. But there is There is so much to see and do in through our website. The venue, the Aid North. To book, please download
scope for further development, with the North East, all accessible from Castlegate Centre, is very accessible the booking form from www www.rtpi.
many vacant sites where traditional Newcastle, that it is easy to plan an to the wider city. org.uk/download/6646/Final-
industries were once situated. extended break around the summit. The conference theme of commu Booking-form.pdf. For more
Planning has a major role in secur The conference website provides nity participation is evident in many information, visit www.
ing the longerterm success of these details of local attractions and will North East developments, including youngplannersconference.info
sites. Regeneration is happening on be regularly updated as the event Gateshead Quayside, Newcastle’s or email enquiry@
a large scale in the two commercial draws closer. Eldon Square masterplan and the youngplannersconference.info
www.Planningresource.co.uk 7 August 2009 Planning 23
Planning law seminar ready RTPI Bulletin Board
to rock distinguished venue Patsy Healey awarded an ordinary fellowship of British Academy
Congratulations to Patsy healey, professor emeritus in the school of
Inspiration for the Joint Planning law Conference has architecture, planning and landscape at Newcastle university, for
being awarded an ordinary fellowship from the British Academy.
come from an unusual source, explains Mike Hayes Ordinary fellowships are given to only a few outstanding uK-based
scholars who have achieved distinction in any discipline of humanities
Planning in 2009 – The Show Must and social sciences. healey’s election demonstrates her outstanding
Go On, inspired by the rock band achievements in planning theory.
Queen, is the theme of the Joint Plan She said: “I am very pleased and honoured that my work as a
ning Law Conference (JPLC) organ planning scholar should be recognised by the British Academy in this
ised by the Law Society, RICS, the way. Such recognition underlines the fact that the planning field has a
Planning and Environmental Bar significant intellectual contribution to make not just in the
Association (PEBA) and the RTPI. development of planning thought and practice but in the social
The JPLC, at University of Oxford sciences and humanities generally.”
New College and the Oxford Union healey, a specialist in planning theory and the practice of planning
on 18 to 20 September, is an oppor and urban regeneration policies, has carried out research on how
tunity for practitioners from a range planning strategies work in practice and on partnership forms of
of backgrounds to network and meet governance at the neighbourhood, city and city-region scales. She has
cuttingedge thinkers to discuss recently been developing approaches to co-operative planning
issues relating to the law and spatial practices, linked to an institutionalist analysis of urban socio-spatial
planning in a special environment. dynamics and urban governance, and has done empirical work in the
This year’s event will cover how uK, Europe and latin America.
planning and development can help She was until this year senior editor of Planning Theory and Practice
keep the show on the road in diffi Oxford: quality conference venue and recent books include Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in
cult economic times and will focus Fragmented Societies and Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies.
on new decisionmaking mecha and Robert McCracken QC on the healey was awarded an OBE in 1999, became an honorary fellow of the
nisms. Infrastructure delivery will infrastructure planning commission Association of European Planners in 2004 and was awarded the RTPI
also be covered and there will be a — challenge or opportunity? Gold medal in 2006.
watching brief on policies emerging Centre for Effective Dispute
from the Conservative opposition as Resolution director Andy Grossman Internships and voluntary work experience
we head towards a general election. will discuss progress in mediation The RTPI is monitoring the impact of the recession and the support
The exceptional value of the JPLC in planning and PEBA vicechair that we offer members. Options for graduates looking to start their
is not just in the quality of the ven man Morag Ellis QC will give a valu careers, and those who have been out of work for a number of months,
ues or the splendour of the company able legal update. Former London is one area of interest. We would like to hear from any employers
and hospitality but in the quality of mayor Ken Livingstone will speak offering internships or voluntary work experience and from any RTPI
the programme, put together by a after dinner on Saturday. members who are currently carrying out such work.
committee comprising representa On Sunday, Burges Salmon LLP Please contact email@example.com in confidence.
tives of the organising professions partner Patrick Robinson will dis
working with the invited speakers. cuss energy planning while current
The result is a wellplanned event issues for local planning authorities Events
with strong themes and a focus on will be explored by Pinsent Masons
ensuring that participants make up LLP partner Bob Pritchard. UK Spatial Development Evidence Base and the ESPON Programme
totheminute contributions that So, tie your mother down, spread 23 September. hilton hotel, leeds.
get to the heart of the challenges your wings, (I want to) break free The European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON) research
faced daily by delegates. and come to JPLC 2009, where you programme is analysing spatial data on a broad range of development
Friday evening begins with an will discover a kind of magic and indicators. This workshop, hosted by the ESPON uK Network, the dClG
after dinner speech by shadow min that we are the champions. and the RTPI development planning network, will explore the potential
ister for local government and plan for using data generated by the ESPON research programme.
ning Bob Neill MP. On Saturday, key For more information and to book Cost: Free to members but limited numbers — registration is essential.
talks will be given by DCLG chief visit www.jplc.org. Mike Hayes is the Download the registration form at www.rtpi.org.uk/download/6802/
planner Steve Quartermain on the RTPI trustee and representative on workshop_registration_form.pdf and return it by email to research@
new regional spatial planning regime the JPLC organising committee. rtpi.org.uk or fax it to 0131 226 1909.
24 Planning 7 August 2009 www.Planningresource.co.uk