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RTPI: Capacity building in built environment critical to Commonwealth’s success

19 April 2018

Victoria Hills UKBEAG Parliamentary Roundtable CHOGM April 2018

The RTPI has joined a number of national and Commonwealth organisations in a pledge to help build capacity in Commonwealth countries struggling with the impact of rapid urbanisation.

In a joint statement released following a UK Built Environment Advisory Group roundtable (of which the RTPI is a founding member), it says more needs to be done to train a greater number of built environment professionals and ensure professional standards are high and well maintained.

The statement says that building capacity amongst the built environment professions, including planning, architecture and engineering, will be critical if the Commonwealth is to tackle its most pressing issues.

Janet Askew MRTPI UKBEAG Parliamentayr Roundtable CHOGM April 2018

Speaking after the roundtable, Janet Askew MRTPI, Chair of the RTPI International Committee said:

“Unplanned and rapid urbanisation in a number of Commonwealth countries is making them vulnerable to a range of issues including lack of resilience to climate change, inadequate housing and poor health. Planners have a unique and wide set of skills and knowledge which can broker solutions in some of the Commonwealth’s most challenging environments.”

The roundtable is one of many RTPI events that have been organised to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a biannual gathering of  leaders from Commonwealth countries to address shared challenges. This year it is in London, running from 16-20 April.

Other RTPI involvement during CHOGM:

  • RTPI Commonwealth Summit Lecture by Sir Terry Farrell, a planner and architect who has worked all over the world
  • RTPI West Midlands ‘Think Planning-Think Global: Planning Challenges in the Commonwealth’
  • RTPI West of Scotland Chapter event on the legacy of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
  • RTPI London 'Urban Challenges across the Commonwealth' panel event

  • The Commonwealth Association of Planners, of which the RTPI is a member organisation, has also announced that Trudi Elliott CBE MRTPI, former RTPI Chief Executive, as its international patron. The RTPI intends to continue supporting the Commonwealth Association of Planners in its work to promote the need for more well trained planners across commonwealth countries.
  • The RTPI has also given support to a ‘Youth Manifesto’, published by the Commonwealth Association of Planners Young Planners, to remind leaders of the important role young professionals play in helping to deliver a sustainable future.
  • RTPI International is commissioning research to measure cities' resilience and their ability use planning to manage the impacts of climate change

This year's Planning Convention will help planners understand how they can help make places more resilient to political uncertainty, population growth, climate change, uneven economic growth and the provision of enough affordable housing. Join the Institute on 21 June.