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Béatrice Crabb: Take action to support civic engagement

How is civic engagement in your city? Make a difference, take action now and support the global campaign!

Béatrice Crabb MRTPI is International Lead at the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Think global, act local, learn globally, apply locally are concepts that as built environment professionals we are all familiar with. But what does that mean for planners in practice? And, how can we make a difference as individuals?

The RTPI believes that planning is pivotal in achieving sustainable development across the globe.

The RTPI International Strategy promotes the value of planning internationally as a lever for advancing a prosperous, fair, sustainable and peaceful world, in alignment with the United Nations New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the main international agreements on climate change and sustainable development. As a global professional body, we have the opportunity to influence better outcomes. There is a direct synergy with SDG11: Sustainable Communities and Cities, but all goals are interlinked and as planners, we can influence them all.

The engagement of planners with global challenges needs to be localised and we are passionate about empowering our members to deliver impact wherever they are.

Today, each member can make a difference alongside the global community by supporting the SDG11.3.2 campaign. The campaign is about collecting data on participatory planning processes in your local area. The SDS11 indicator 11.3.2 measures the proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically. 

SDG 11.3.2 is crucial in understanding the state of civic engagement in planning at the local level as well as national and regional levels. It sets an agenda for cities and countries, highlighting the importance of civic engagement in sustainable development. Participation and civic engagement in planning are essential for creating equitable, resilient and sustainable cities and communities.

To date, less than 30 percent of countries are presently collecting data for this indicator, despite commendable progress by countries and cities to provide for civic engagement through legislative and other practical measures. 

To tackle this challenge, UN-Habitat has introduced a user-friendly survey, which takes about 3 minutes to complete. The survey is linked to a global map illustrating immediate results and facilitates comparisons with countries and cities worldwide. Take a look at the map and see if your city/community is represented, take the survey and add your contribution. Input is needed from individuals representing all sectors so whether you are working in the public sector, private sector, academia, or the third sector, your contribution is important.

Together with a community of global stakeholders and partners, individually and collectively you have a key role to play in accelerating data collection on SDG indicator 11.3.2 by personally completing the questionnaire and encouraging members of your respective organisations and networks to do the same, as many reside in cities and towns. 

The campaign to safeguard SDG indicator 11.3.2 is running until June 2024, the deadline set by the Inter-agency Expert Group on SDGs. By that date, 50 percent of countries are expected to collect data on civil society engagement in urban planning and management.

Make a difference, complete the survey and disseminate it amongst your relevant networks, partners, experts, civil society, women, youth, professional organisations and other stakeholders, and partners.

The survey can be accessed here.

If you would like to find more about the Institute’s international work visit: RTPI | International


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