Planners evolve to meet emerging challenges looming on the

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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                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                     RTPI news

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

                                                                                                                        ChARlOTTE mORPhET
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.                              
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              
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                                                                                                                                          7 August 2009 Planning 23
  RTPI news

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 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 Mike Hayes is the   Download the registration form at
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. or fax it to 0131 226 1909.

24 Planning 7 August 2009