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About RTPI research

The RTPI holds a unique position in relation to planning as a professional membership body, a charity and a learned institute. We have a responsibility to promote the research needs of spatial planning in the UK, Ireland and internationally.

The Institute plays a number of roles in relation to planning research:

  • User – drawing on existing research evidence, for example in our Planning Horizons projects
  • Disseminator – acting as a 'bridge' between research, policy and practice, for example through our Research briefings
  • Researcher – adding to the evidence base through in-house research and policy analysis, for example our Policy papers
  • Commissioner – funding and supporting targeted research projects, particularly those of relevance to practitioners and policymakers, for example through our SPIRe programme
  • Guider and influencer – promoting a stronger evidence base in planning, for example, through our journal Planning Theory and Practice.

Current research priorities

 In the immediate future the RTPI will continue with the Value of Planning Work Programme.  Under phase two of the Small Projects Impact Research (SPIRe) funding we have commissioned further research:

  • A report on Planning as 'market maker': learning the lessons from Germany, France and the Netherlands conducted by Dr Alex Lord at Liverpool University;
  • A report on Planning for Growth: International Evidence from China conducted for the RTPI by Professor Fulong Wu and Dr Fangzhu Zhang, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London.

The RTPI will be commissioning further research from the Universities of Glasgow and Sheffield which will look into greater detail at some of the areas identified for further research in the original paper. We will also be producing a research-practice paper, looking to bring together real-life examples that show how planning and planners have delivered economic value in the ways identified in the value of planning research, and showcasing the tools that are available to planners to deliver economic value in their day-to-day work.

Other research projects for 2015/2016 include national and regional research projects and:


For more information about RTPI research, please contact

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