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PR 45 - Boost to education and research

10 July 2008

Promoting stronger links between planning theory and practice is the aim of a new RTPI Network that will allow practitioners, researchers and educators to share ideas and shape the future direction of spatial planning.

The RTPI Planning Education and Research Network (PERN) will be launched today (Thursday) at the RTPI's National Planning Convention. PERN is designed to facilitate interaction between the academic and the practice communities within planning. It aims to ensure that researchers are carrying out projects that have practical applications for those practising planning, that universities are teaching relevant curricula and that planners can tap into relevant spatial planning research and analysis.

RTPI Director of Education and Lifelong Learning, Sue Percy, said: \"We need to make sure our left hand knows what our right hand is doing. Creating stronger links between practitioners, educators and researchers will facilitate the free flow of information so that spatial planning research and analysis is more readily absorbed into practice. It will also help ensure that the academic sector is not isolated from practice, so that both university curricula and research are relevant to planners on the ground.

\"PERN is an excellent addition to the extremely successful range of RTPI Networks and Associations which have helped to promote knowledge sharing and good practice across a range of disciplines. I would encourage anyone with an interest in shaping spatial planning research, education and practice to join this network.\"

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479

Notes to Editors:

The RTPI Planning Education and Research Network (PERN) is a group for those who play an active role in planning and planning related research and education. Membership is not exclusive to RTPI members. More information is available here.

Dedicated web pages are being developed and there will be opportunities for the development of an e-bulletin, discussion fora and specialist workshops. The RTPI envisages that there will be the potential for PERN to input in several key areas including;

•         support for new planning researchers and the development of the planning academy

•         developing the research agenda in spatial analysis and place making in public policy

•         understanding the ethical frameworks of planning practice

The Royal Town Planning Institute is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our 21,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:

41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865