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RTPI launches ambitious research programme

04 February 2019

Research ProgrammeThe RTPI has launched a comprehensive research programme covering the period 2019-2021, following its most extensive engagement consultation ever with members across the nations and Ireland, the built environment sector, universities and the government.

Ten key topics of research have been identified to address perennial and new planning issues.

The programme will kick off with research into the regeneration of high streets, a Government priority. 

With the Institute’s commitment to ensuring a diverse pipeline of planners, a new area will focus on the planning profession itself. To be commissioned in early 2019, research will seek to understand why people enter or exit pathways into planning and horizon-scan future trends, such as patterns of working, emerging technologies and specialisms.

The programme heralds a new commitment to the international research agenda and to UN sustainable development goals. A study of the future of refugee camps will look at how humanitarian agencies consider spatial planning issues in the management and coordination of camps for displaced populations affected by humanitarian crises.

Resourcing of public sector planning was another top issue raised by 18% of members in the membership survey. The RTPI will build on its influential ‘Chief Planning Officers’ research and continue to build a case as to why planning should be present at the top of the corporate hierarchy of local authorities.

Professor Aude Bicquelet-Lock said:

“Following 20 months of rigorous and stimulating consultation, we are delighted to launch our new research programme.

“Planning has never been more crucial to society and this is reflected in the ambitious scope of our programme. From social inequality and climate change to public health and treatment of refugees, the RTPI is playing a vital role in advancing understanding of many criticial problems we face and how planning can help to mitigate and solve them.

“We look forward to researchers, practitioners and policymakers collaborating with us to probe and provide solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.”

The RTPI would like to warmly thank all its members and partners who dedicated time to answer our survey and those who participated in our consultation.

To find out more, please email