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Planners play a pivotal role in bringing together multiple stakeholders and communities to ensure that the places we use to live, work and play are more than just fit for purpose. They strive to ensure that place-based solutions allow people to thrive, recognise their economic potential and enjoy a healthy happy life.

The RTPI’s Planning Excellence Awards illustrate the lengths and efforts that they go to in the UK and examples of these amazing projects can be found on our Planning Your World web platform, along with the diverse mix of planners who help to deliver them.

It’s a little known fact that many of our members work outside of the borders of the UK and Ireland, and we are keen to shine a light on their expertise to ensure they receive the recognition that they deserve.

As a well-respected global professional body for planners, we want to take a moment to celebrate the important contribution that our members make around the world. Expertise, experience and reputation of town planning in the UK and Ireland is recognised globally and we feel more could be done to recognise its important contribution to global exports.

The Government don’t currently collect the export value of planning to the UK economy individually but rather include it with architectural services. Our own research suggests that planning brings in millions to the UK and has the potential to have a much larger impact if the passion and expertise of our consultancies both large and small were showcased as one of our key exports alongside higher education, the creative industries and finance.

My hope is that the examples included in these pages will be the start of that process. However, it is not all about economics. What these examples highlight is the tireless efforts that our members go to, to help improve the lives of people throughout the world, providing the place-based solutions that allow healthy happy communities to realise their full potential.

The world is changing. We have seen in recent years the impact that our ever-changing climate is having on populations around the world. Alongside that we have seen our global leaders begin to grip the situation and set ambitious targets to reduce the carbon emissions. By putting climate change and resilience at the forefront of what they do planners, can be the enablers for the change that is required. Many of the projects we present to you here do just that as you can see from the work that Jacobs and URBAN silence did in the Oman Regional Spatial Strategies that underpin the country’s vision for 2040.

The reality of climate change is that it is a global problem that will require a global solution. It is a crisis that will require an enormous collective effort to overcome. I believe that our members and planners will be an essential element of that effort. The work of UK planners across the world has the potential to be a game-changer as we not only help ourselves but strive to help others too.

What we present here is only a small example of the ways in which our members and the teams they work with make the world a better place. I would implore anyone, from anywhere, that is setting out on project to consider involving UK planners. I am bias, as we represent them, but I think they are among the best in the world.

Victoria Hills MRTPI FICE
Chief Executive