RTPI is a founder member of the Global Planners Network (GPN), dedicated to raising the profile of planning as an indispensable part of managing the world's rapid urbanisation. For more on GPN aims and achievements, view the GPN slide presentation from the World Planning Schools Congress.
GPN now has a regular free newsletter - visit the website to see the current edition, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.
The UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum was held in Rio de Janeiro in March 2010. Planning was at the forefront of many keynote speeches and networking events and RTPI was there as part of the GPN representation. In Rio, UN-HABITAT launched the next phase in its World Urban Campaign. With its partners in GPN, RTPI plans to make a significant contribution to this important initiative.
RTPI and the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) are strongly aware of the need for development to be better integrated spatially and are contributing to the international discussion about how to make this happen. We think it is vital that practitioner insights into the challenges and barriers facing planning, and into what works in practice - and what does not work - feed into future initiatives to build global planning capacity.
As partners in GPN, and following the commitment made in the Vancouver Declaration which founded the Network, RTPI and CAP researched the world's capacity for planning. The first results of this work were presented at the GPN Congress in Zhenjiang, China from 31 October to 2 November 2008.
The delegation is shown here in front of the engraved stone setting out the GPN commitment:; Building on the 2006 Vancouver Declaration, the Global Planners Network steers towards harmonious settlements, places in harmony with nature and places where there is harmony between people. We champion planning as a strategic, integrative, inclusive and pro-poor process. As a tool for urban development and environmental management, effective planning alleviates poverty, reduces inequality, slows down slum formation, mitigates hazards and builds safe, inclusive settlements. We leave Zhenjiang renewing our commitment to increase the global capacity to plan and manage settlements in timely, affordable and harmonious ways. We will continue to bring planners together and strengthen their links with communities, professionals, politicians and civil society to enhance the quality and future resilience of human settlements.
RTPI researchers Will French and Lucy Natarajan assessed the world's capacity for planning by asking where the planners are, who they are, what challenges face them and what tools they need to do their job. Over 1250 planners in 100 countries complered our on-line self-diagnostic tool. Taken together, these responses provide a rich account of what it means to practise planning throughout the world as volunteered by a good cross-section of the international planning community. What stands out is the extraordinary variety of issues that planners deal with in all kinds of development environments. Read the report or the summary and further detail: a survey of the responses from Latin America, a briefing on issues of poverty and inequality, and an assessment of skills required. Next, responding to many heartfelt requests in the responses, we are working towards the creation of an on-line community of planners: a website where planners can exchange knowledge and experience, raise questions and start discussions. To read the latest newsletter about this part of the project, please click here.
Built Environment Professions
Through its active membership of the Global Planners Network, RTPI is involved in the Habitat Professionals Forum (HPF) uniting the professional disciplines involved in human settlements. HPF represents over 6 million planners, architects, surveyors, landscape architects and engineers who work with the UN to deliver the Habitat Agenda. It has produced a short and readable Charter committing profession organisations to sustainable urbanisation, combating inequality, managing climate change and preventing/mitigating natural disaster. Christine Platt MRTPI, President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners, chaired the April 2011 meeting of the Forum in Nairobi - read more about the meeting on the UN-HABITAT website.