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RTPI Centenary Projects

The RTPI Centenary projects will be grouped under the following headings. If you have an idea you would like to submit you can advise us by completing this form so that we can quickly assess and respond to ideas.

 Find out more about the RTPI Centenary near you.

Futures projects

Planning Horizons

About the Planning Horizons project

One of the ways in which the RTPI will be marking its centenary in 2014 will be by looking to the future of planning, but we will also be keen to recognise the achievements of the past. Our 'Planning Horizons' research projects will reflect both of these ambitions.

The RTPI is developing five Centenary 'Planning Horizons' papers, to be published during the Institute's Centenary Year in 2014. These will take a step back from immediate policy concerns and take 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.

Get involved

We welcome the engagement of the planning community in these projects, including practitioners, academic researchers and sister organisations.

We particularly welcome suggestions for UK and international case studies which demonstrate the role and value of planners and planning in relation to these challenges.

For more information about the Planning Horizons projects, and to get involved, please contact: Dr Michael Harris, Deputy head of policy and research on 0207 929 9493

RTPI Ambassadors / Future Planners initiative

As part of our 2014 Centenary celebrations the RTPI is looking for ambassadors to go into our schools to present the Future Planners initiative that aims to raise awareness of and foster interest in planning with school students aged 11-18.

We will also be developing resources to help support the ambassadors and aim to build on existing activity that promotes a wider understanding of planning. This will include similar work undertaken in different Regions and Nations, with some activity falling under the aegis of Planning Aid.

For more information on how to become an RTPI Ambassador and the Future Planners initiative contact Dipanwita Chatterjee.

Centenary edition of the Journal of Planning Theory and Practice

The Centenary Edition of Planning Theory and Practice will reflect upon theoretical and practical achievements in the planning discipline during the last century, and look to breakthroughs in the future. The issue will be published in March 2014 and will feature an editorial by Trudi Elliott and an 'Interface' which will draw on the history of the RTPI to consider the 'big questions' facing the planning profession in the 21stcentury.

For more information on the centenary edition of the Journal of Planning Theory and Practice contact Eleanor Rowe or on 0207 929 9496


History projects

Audio history project

Past President Martin Willey has begun to interview planners from across the decades. The first four recordings have been made and make fascinating listening about planning in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. They are available on the RTPI web site

For information on the Audio history project contact Tino Hernandez or on 0207 929 9486

Visual timeline project

New software has been bought to enable a timeline to form a part of the RTPI's web site. The timeline will feature historical information and photographs and copies of significant documents. Past President Cliff Hague is acting as an advisor on the project.

For information on the visual timeline project contact

'New towns come of age' project

The new town come of age project will involve the President or other RTPI dignitary, visiting and presenting a certificate to most of  the New Towns and some comparable new settlements in each RTPI membership region and nation during 2014. What the community itself builds around the visit is entirely up to them, but each will be invited - along with all other new towns- to share their idea of the 5 planning factors which have most contributed to the sustained success of their planned community. These factors will then be collated to provide the beginnings of an online learning resource for future new settlements. As a way of looking forward, young people will also be invited to think about what they most like about their town as a basis for thinking about priorities.



Sporting and voluntary activities

The centenary sports project will celebrate the RTPI centenary with fun and challenging events across the country. We will raise money for good causes whilst marking one hundred years of the RTPI. So if you are into football, cycling, running and taking part get in touch…

For more information on centenary sporting and voluntary activities contact Charles Veal or on 0207 929 9477

Centenary Concert

The RTPI will be holding a Centenary Concert at Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 8th March at 7:30pm. In celebration of our centenary the Exeter Symphony Orchestra and the Exeter Philharmoic Choir will be performing Beethoven's 9th Symphony 'The Choral'.
You can book your ticket here or for more information please contact Ellie Green on 0207 929 9457.

Centenary dinners and receptions

For information on centenary dinners and receptions contact Bev Watson or on 0161 604 7799

Commemorative magazine

For information on the commemorative magazine contact Tino Hernandez or on 0207 929 9486

Centenaries in planning - the international dimenson

The RTPI Centenary falls in the 'Decade of Planning 2010 to 2020', an international celebration of one hundred years of Spatial Planning. The early part of the 20th Century was the time when planning became an identifiable discipline, when planning was mentioned explicitly in legislation for the first time, developed into a professional calling, and was discussed among the general public in response to conferences and exhibitions - internationally, not just in the UK. As we mark the RTPI Centenary, we will be celebrating this remarkable period with links and references to other notable centenaries in the world of planning, collected in a special pack.

For more information on International events throughout the centenary contact Judith Eversley

Circumnavigate Wales

Running through 2014 RTPI Cymru members will be walking and running (or cycling or by horseback where it is permitted if preferred) around Wales. Organisations and companies are organising events and trips around the Wales Coast Path and Offas Dyke Path to collectively cover the just over 1,000 miles.

The online recording mechanism will be available on the RTPI website from 1st January.

For information on Circumnavigate Wales contact Roisin Willmott 


If you have an idea that you want to submit you can advise us by completing this form so that we can quickly assess and respond to ideas. 

Find out about the RTPI Centenary near you