The RTPI developed five Centenary 'Planning Horizons' papers, during the Institute's Centenary Year in 2014. These take a step back from immediate policy concerns and offer a long term as well as global view of planning and the contribution it can make to some of the major challenges we face in the 21st Century.
The five Planning Horizons projects are:
Planning in a contemporary sense came into being around 100 years ago. 1909 saw the Housing and Town Planning Act and the establishment of the world's first planning school at Liverpool University. These developments weren't just confined to the UK; 1909 also witnessed the publication of the Chicago Plan and the foundation of first garden city in Hellerau near Dresden.
In one sense, we face many of the same challenges now as we did a century ago – the need for quality affordable housing, improved public health (particularly in cities), and how to balance economic development with the protection of the countryside.
In other respects, we are confronted by a wholly new set of challenges, such as climate change, demographic shifts (including an ageing society), the rise of 'lifestyle diseases', and increasing competition in a globalised world.
Planners have a critical role to play in response to all of these issues. Just as the challenges of a hundred years ago spurred the development of planning as a discipline and as a field of study, so the challenges we face over the next hundred years will demand new contributions from the profession.