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Winners of 2019 RTPI Research Awards announced

03 September 2019

The winners of the 2019 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence were announced last night at the opening ceremony of the UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference at the University of Liverpool.

The judging panel – made up of 28 experienced academics and leading voices from the public and private sector – considered submissions from across the UK and around the world, and the winning entries reflected this diversity.

Entries were on a range of topics, including climate change, spatial justice, physical and mental health, rural development, neighbourhood planning and community engagement.

‘Outstanding for its originality’

Winner of the Early Career Academic Award was Dr Guibo Sun for his work with Prof Chris Webster and Xiaohu Zhang from the University of Hong Kong – their research was entitled Connecting the city: A three-dimensional pedestrian network of Hong Kong.

Dr Sun and his colleagues also received a commendation for achieving the highest score across all categories.

The judges had nothing but praise for Dr Sun’s paper, saying it was outstanding for its ‘originality, methodological innovation and depth of the literature review.’

Research funding for members

For the first time, the recipients of the Practitioner Research Fund were decided at the ceremony – this new prize awards research funding to practitioner members of the RTPI.

The two winners of funding were James McGowan (pictured below with RTPI President, Ian Tant) of Lichfields in London who plans to examine the relationship between the built environment and mental health in the UK, and Marijke Ransom from Tasman District Council in New Zealand for her proposed study on the development of an ‘ecosystem services or natural capital valuation and derived planning tool for the NZ context.’

James Mc Gowan

Other awards handed out by RTPI President Ian Tant at the ceremony last night went to

  • Student Award - Richard Lundy (Cardiff University)
  • Academic Award - Dr Chinmoy Sarkar, Prof Chris Webster (University of Hong Kong) and Prof John Gallacher (University of Oxford)
  • Sir Peter Hall Award for Public Engagement - Prof Gavin Parker FRTPI, Kat Salter MRTPI and Dr Matthew Wargent (University of Reading, Henley Business School)
  • Consultancy Award - Myles Smith MRTPI (Lichfields, Birmingham)

Ian Tant said: “High quality and impactful research forms a vital basis for planning practice. Joining planning theory with practice is central to the RTPI’s missions as both a Learned Society and Professional Body.

“This year’s Research Awards have again shone a light on fantastic planning research from around the world and I was particularly delighted to announce the first winners of the inaugural Practitioner Research Award, each of whom will receive £5,000 to fund their research.”

 

List of winning and commended entries

WINNING ENTRIES

Student Award

Awarded to Richard Lundy (Cardiff University, School of Geography and Planning):

Incompatible Imagery: The conflict between heritage and development at Liverpool Waters (Masters Dissertation)

Early Career Academic Award

Awarded to Dr Guibo Sun for his work with Prof Chris Webster and Xiaohu Zhang (University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning and Design):

Connecting the city: A three-dimensional pedestrian network of Hong Kong (Published in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science)

Academic Award

Awarded to Dr Chinmoy Sarkar, Prof Chris Webster (University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning and Design) and Prof John Gallacher (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford):

Residential greenness and prevalence of major depressive disorders: A cross-sectional, observational, associational study of 94 879 adult UK Biobank participants (Published in The Lancet - Planetary Health)

Sir Peter Hall Award for Public Engagement

Awarded to Prof Gavin Parker FRTPI, Kat Salter MRTPI, and Dr Matthew Wargent (University of Reading, Henley Business School, Real Estate and Planning):

Neighbourhood planning in practice (Published by Lund Humphries)

Consultancy Award

Awarded to Myles Smith MRTPI (Lichfields, Birmingham):

Planned up and be counted (Published by Lichfields)

Practitioner Research Fund (1)

Awarded to James McGowan (Lichfields, London):

A study into the relationship between the built environment and mental health in the UK and potential policy outcomes

Practitioner Research Fund (2)

Awarded to Marijke Ransom MRTPI (Tasman District Council, New Zealand):

Developing an ecosystem services or natural capital valuation and derived planning tool for the NZ context

 

COMMENDED ENTRIES

Commendation for highest score across all categories but not shortlisted

Awarded to Dr Philipp Horn (University of Sheffield, Urban Studies and Planning):

Indigenous rights to the city: ethnicity and urban planning in Bolivia and Ecuador (Published by Routledge)

Commendation for Highest score across all categories

Awarded to Dr Guibo Sun for work with Prof Chris Webster and Xiaohu Zhang (University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning and Design):

Connecting the city: A three-dimensional pedestrian network of Hong Kong (Published in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science)

Commendation for originality

Awarded to Dr Linda Robson MRTPI, Prof Sharon Biermann, Associate Prof Rachel Cardell-Oliver, Associate Prof Doina Olaru, Dr Kirsten Martinus, Dr Brett Smith, Dr Sae Chi, Dr Chao Sun (University of Western Australia), Tristan Reed (Curtin University), Associate Prof Ferry Jie, Prof Craig Standing (Edith Cowen University), Candice Parson, Ben Cooper-Woolley (Arup, Perth):

RailSmart planning support system (Available at railsmart.patrec.org)