Vice-President of the RTPI, Janet Askew, on a recent visit to China, was privileged to meet colleagues from the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, who were keen to hear about the RTPI and the role of the profession in the UK. The staff of the academy, based in four different cities across China advise the Chinese government on planning matters, amongst other things. The Academy is keen to foster links and develop relationships with the RTPI.
Whilst in China, Janet Askew was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Conference on Engineering Structural Safety and Low Carbon Eco-cities, which was held in Chongqing. Her speech drew upon research done by Barton and Grant at the University of the West of England in Bristol in the WHO collaborating research centre, examining how healthy cities criteria contributes to carbon reduction. The RTPI has published its third ‘Horizons’ paper entitled ‘Promoting Healthy Cities’ which shows how integrating health and planning can create better places for all.
The Chongqing conference brought together urban planners, engineers and political scientists from Europe and China to discuss and compare different nations’ approaches to the planning and design of low carbon cities. Chongqing Jaiotong University, which organised the conference, is located in a city region of approximately 32 million inhabitants and they recognise the vital importance of urban planning, with their students adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to the built environment.