The RTPI West Midlands Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate outstanding planners, plans and projects that demonstrate the power of planning in our regions.
The awards highlight exceptional examples of how planning and planners have a positive impact on our quality of life in creating exceptional places and protecting our environment. In recognising and rewarding excellence we aim to inspire others to achieve the same high standards.
RTPI West Midlands Awards for Planning Excellence 2021 winners
Award for Planning Excellence 2021 - The Alexander Stadium Redevelopment entered by Arup
Chair's Award 2021 - West Midlands Young Combined Authority
Young Planner of the Year 2021 - Simeon Shtebunaev
RTPI Outstanding Service Award- Maria Dunn
Take a look at the video from the ceremony:
This exciting project has provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate the multi-disciplinary capabilities of Arup.
Arup are providing architecture, urban design & masterplanning, civil & structural, building services, planning, fire, lighting, transport planning, stakeholder engagement, landscaping, acoustics, and ecology from across the Arup network. The team have reimagined the stadium to enable it to become a high-quality venue for diverse sporting, leisure, community and cultural events - creating a legacy that will last.
Simeon’s fervour for inclusion has led him to become a passionate advocate for youth-friendly future cities working with developers, local authorities and professional organisations. Simeon is an ambassador for town planning across the cultural and architecture sectors, promoting the value of planning on regional, national and international level.
Practicing what he believes, he teaches secondary school children in underrepresented communities; co-ordinates annual summer school in architecture and urban planning in Bulgaria; lectures undergraduate and master planning students focusing on professionalism, digital planning and interdisciplinary design skills; and researches the opportunities for young people to shape the futures of their cities.
"This year, I have the honour of awarding the Chair’s Award to the West Midlands Young Combined Authority.
The Young Combined Authority was set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority in September 2019. It brings together a diverse board of young people who will live, learn and work across the West Midlands to build youth insight and challenge into regional decision making. It gives young people, aged 16-25, the opportunity to be represented in the region’s leadership, speak up for younger generations and be heard on regional priorities from the future of cities and transport to tackling inequalities, informing and influencing regional policy.
The Young Combined Authority has worked with Aston University’s strategic priorities fund and Beatfreaks to develop its own vision for the region, publishing ‘It’s our West Midlands – Young Combined Authority’s vision and priorities for the future’ in February 2021. The vision sets out what matters to young people in the region outlining its priorities and using this as a platform for establishing a series of key asks for regional leaders across seven priority areas. The Young Combined Authority has also been recognised as champions for the Board of the Combined Authority's work around energy and the environment including their role in speaking up and advocating for change at Board meetings and to local leaders.
Recognising the success of the Young Combined Authority in providing a voice for young people in the region, the West Midlands Combined Authority is seeking to create a larger Young Combined Authority community and is in the process of recruiting the next group of young people to the Young Combined Authority. In what is often an adult-centric planning system, it is fantastic to see the Young Combined Authority leading the way at a regional level to actively engage young people and provide our future generations with real opportunities to be heard and influence strategy and policy decisions.
So, it is with great pleasure that I award this year’s Chair’s Award to the West Midlands Young Combined Authority."
Stephanie Eastwood, RTPI West Midlands Chair 2021
No century has left us a more varied set of conservation challenges within the built environment than the 20th century. Coventry Cathedral Conservation Management Plan sets out, for the first time, the understanding, significance, vulnerabilities and policies to support an informed management of change at this important Grade I listed Post-War site. Our research and policy approach at Coventry adds to the international corpus of conservation planning for Post-War sites and the innovative conservation management toolkit provides a clear and objective methodology for assessing significance and managing sustainable future change.
The Coventry Cathedral Conservation Management Plan is online here.
Glasswater Locks is the latest phase in the regeneration of Eastside, Birmingham and will provide a more balanced community through the provision of 753 new homes and 2,301 sqm of flexible commercial/leisure floorspace that will complement a world class educational campus. Glasswater Locks announces the arrival to the city centre and nearby HS2 terminus, whilst successfully responding to a number of heritage assets. An attractive public realm opens up the canalside environment and provides new connections to the surrounding area. The scheme evolved through extensive engagement with Birmingham City Council as well as the general public and technical stakeholders.
HS2's Automated People Mover (APM) is a unique and exciting project which will connect the Solihull economic Hub and strategic transport links, to the high speed rail network. Via the APM its accessibility will be transformed and so will the lives of future generations in the West Midlands and beyond. The approved APM design sets a new benchmark for a people mover of this type, with a contextual design which is fully inclusive and accessible, and which will benefit and transform future projects around . All delivered through the effective collaboration of HS2, its consultant teams, Solihull Council and stakeholders.
The West Bromwich outdoor market redevelopment sought to replace a tired, unattractive row of market stalls with a new offer looking to improve the visual amenity of the area, deliver against the Council’s sustainability agenda and increase the economic impact of the market, which is at the cultural heart of the town centre. Through the use of ground-breaking PV technology, the markets are now a net contributor to energy in the borough, in addition to being a functional, distinctive market facility for traders. The scheme has been shortlisted for The Energy Awards 2021, recognising its green credentials.
The West Midlands National Park is a long-term vision for a new kind of National Park, applauded by the UK Government’s Glover Review of Landscapes (2019). It is an integrated and holistic economic, social and environmental vision incorporating all of the land in the West Midlands, and all aspects of land use. It is about integrated, sustainable and meaningful transformation as much as conservation and preservation. The WMNP is shifting perceptions of the region; already impacting local and national government policy and spending; empowering communities and stakeholders and generating a sense of hope and optimism for the future.
Kamil has engaged with planning practice alongside his studies, serving as the University of Birmingham’s Planning Society president, alongside championing collaboration within Birmingham City Council's decision-making through community engagement.
He has led the Planning Society through the pandemic’s restrictions to create thriving connections between students and practitioners via online events, most notably utilising Zoom’s breakout rooms to host truly quickfire speed networking.
Kamil’s research project utilised his policy knowledge to empower resident voices in the Edgbaston Reservoir Masterplan’s consultation process, producing a ‘community-led vision’ in collaboration with local stakeholders to pioneer Birmingham City Council’s first ‘Community Partnership Forum’.
Myles is a passionate, enthusiastic, and driven young planner, with a strong commitment to driving forward innovative approaches to planning and placemaking. For someone early on in their career, Myles has been integral to Lichfields growth in the region and has worked on a variety of innovative projects. His understanding of planning and dedication to delivering positive outcomes is key to his approach and welcomed by his clients. He is also a leading voice in the industry, recognising that top quality, creative research and planning is crucial to the future of the West Midlands and the wider planning profession