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8 reasons to enter the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence

18 November 2016 Author: Josh Rule

 RTPI Awards

“Winning an award from an organisation with the status and reputation of the RTPI represents a highly valuable validation of the project’s quality and the hard work of the team that delivered it.”

This is from a RTPI Award for Planning Excellence winner. You could be a winner too. Here are eight reasons why you should enter:

1. Prestige

Now in their 40th year, the RTPI Awards continue to be the most high profile planning awards in the UK and have an international reputation too. Due to the number of high calibre entries, just being a finalist affords your entry widespread respect.

John Percival, Capital Programmes Manager, Rochdale Borough Council said:

“The RTPI Award for Planning Excellence gave our partnership – Rochdale BC, The Environment Agency and the Heritage Lottery Fund - the opportunity to showcase what we believe is an exceptional project. To be included on the shortlist gave everyone in the team a tremendous boost. Winning the Planning for the Natural Environment category was as welcome as it was unexpected given the high quality of the other projects on the shortlist and everyone associated with the project was thrilled. Winning an award from an organisation with the status and reputation of the RTPI represents a highly valuable validation of the project’s quality and the hard work of the team that delivered it.”

2. Reputation

It’s not only the wider built environment and your peers who know that being a finalist or winning an RTPI Award is a mark of excellence. The UK Government welcomed our awards and said they “encourage innovation and promote good design and place-making …these highlight successful schemes and reward effective collaborative working amongst built environment specialists.”

3. Differentiation

An RTPI Award for Planning Excellence differentiates you from your competitors and helps establish credibility with your stakeholders and the public. It is a mark of excellence.

Previous winners, like Central Govan Action Plan have said it has brought their work credibility, helping them to secure additional funding. Finalists, winners and commended entries are able to use the appropriate RTPI Awards logo to promote their brand to stakeholders who know that this is a badge of excellence.

4. Rigour

The Awards are rigorously judged by a representative group of leaders in their fields, from academia, the public and private sectors, government and NGOs across the UK and internationally, chosen for their experience and expertise.

Our Chair of the Judges Panel is Nick Raynsford, former Planning Minister and Chair of Peabody. If your work is recognised as a finalist or winner, it is because professionals at the highest levels have deemed it truly outstanding against a strong field.

Angus Kerr, Director of Planning Policy Division, Department for Infrastructure NI and James Hennessey, Associate Director, the Paul Hogarth Company said:

“We were delighted with the commendation that ‘Living Places’ received at the 2016 RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The prestigious competition attracted the highest standards of entry and provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase ‘Living Places’ amongst some of the best planning projects in the UK and abroad. I would highly recommend entering the RTPI 2017 awards – the resulting recognition was extremely valuable in raising the profile of this Urban Stewardship and Design Guide and contributes to our goal of achieving more successful urban places for local communities.”

5. Recognition

As a finalist, commended entry or winner you’re afforded recognition amongst your peers and clients in the built environment that your work is truly outstanding in its field.

Phil Stride, External Affairs Director at Thames Tideway Tunnel, said:

“The awards are excellent peer recognition of the fantastic team effort, over many years, involved in obtaining a Development Consent Order. We can now get on and build the tunnel. Planning for such a huge project, requiring 24 construction sites across 14 London boroughs, was a huge task. Our team has been dedicated to engaging with communities and listening to people from the beginning, and we are delighted our hard work has been recognised.”

6. Free publicity

Entering the Awards is free as is the associated publicity. Winners are regularly featured in The Planner magazine – the only planning publication that reaches all 23,000 RTPI members nationally and internationally. What could a feature like these - Thames Tideway Tunnel, Tana River Delta Land Use Plan or Nottingham Heritage Strategy – do for your work?

Our winners and finalists are also featured across regional press both in the UK and internationally, boosting their reputation and recognition locally and are supported by a social media campaign (have a look for yourself by using #RTPIAwards). Many projects go on to be cited as examples of best practice throughout the RTPI’s work with government and stakeholders to promote planning.

7. Global reach

In 2016 we launched the International Award for Planning Excellence. Finalists were selected from a huge number of entries from around the world, including North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Peter Geraghty FRTPI, Chair of RTPI International said they:

“...epitomise the global nature of planning; they  encapsulate the range of professional planning practice”.

The world is interested in what planning excellence looks like with international press coverage for some of our entries. Even if your project is in the UK, you’re being promoted and talked about globally.

8. Network and celebrate

Each year the RTPI Awards are presented at a prestigious ceremony in the early summer. They are designed so that they are as affordable as possible, enabling entrants from all spheres to network with other planners from across the UK and internationally as well as celebrate with their teams and supporters. What better way to thank your team, hear about other projects and make new contacts?

Interested? Entering is free and you can do it online today. We’ve made it easier this year with our how to win guide. Enter now.

Josh Rule

Josh Rule

Josh Rule is Communications and Public Affairs Officer at the RTPI.