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Spatial planning


Lo DsnapshotimageLocation of Development (May 2018) This is the largest study of its kind. It maps and analyses the location of permissions for over 220,000 new homes in 12 fast-growing city-regions between 2012 and 2017, including Cambridge, Brighton, Leeds and Newcastle. It is divided into two 'rounds' – 2012 to 2015 and 2015 to 2017, which allows comparison on how spatial issues are changing since the NPPF came into force in 2012.


Report CoverSettlement Patterns, Urban Form and Sustainability: An Evidence Base (May 2018)

This research paper accompanies the 2017 update of the analysis. It describes how large and compact settlement patterns support economic productivity, promote sustainable mobility, improves public health and can encourage continued physical activity, economic participation and social interaction for an ageing population.


Smart city regions (September 2017) this position paper sets out how data, technology and governance can combine to drive a new wave of strategic planning. It is the first output from our Better Planning: Smart City-Regions project.


Blueprint for a Great North Plan (June 2016) with IPPR North. This large-scale blueprint presents the best ideas to emerge on developing a Great North Plan, sets out principles for how the plan should be developed, illustrates the different layers of planning required, and proposes next steps for putting planning into action. More information available from IPPR. An A4 version of the blueprint is also available.


SWCoverThe Location of Development (March 2016) Major project which analyses the location and scale of recent planning permissions for housing in twelve English city-regions. This study was conducted by Bilfinger GVA, and represents a first step towards better understanding the changing spatial relationships between housing, jobs and infrastructure. The overarching report aOxford - Simple Map - Croppednd detailed maps are available, along with detailed reports for the South-West, South-East of England focusing on planning permissions for 19,000 houses in Oxford and Brighton, and on two cities in the North West, Blackburn and Warrington.



The Process for Developing Robust Housing Evidence for Local Development Plans in Wales (January 2016) RTPI Cymru commissioned a research study by the School of Planning and Geography Cardiff University to consider the process for developing robust housing projections for Local Development Plans in Wales. The full report is available here, along with a research briefing.


A manual demographic forcasting WalesA manual of integrated demographic forecasting for local planning in Wales (April 2017) provides local planning authorities with the skills for investigating housing projection data to develop robust Local Development Plans in Wales. It is based on research by the School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff University and extensive training for LPA's.



Developing a planning research agenda for Ireland (February 2016) RTPI Ireland commissioned University College Cork to set out a framework for developing a research agenda for planning in Ireland, focusing on the kind of research which helps planners and policymakers to develop and revitalise Ireland's towns, cities and rural areas. The full report and a summary briefing are available.

RTPI-Strategtic Planning -Brochure -Front CoverStrategic Planning: Effective Co-operation for Planning Across Boundaries (January 2015) Focuses on strengthening strategic planning in all five nations to see how we can respond to the challenge of marrying local concerns and wider issues across city-regions and other areas. Outlines general principles all strategic planning should follow.



Linking People, Places and Community Planning (March 2015) Explores if there is a disconnect between the processes, outcomes and priorities of spatial planning and community planning in Scotland and if so, how they can be addressed and what the benefits are for all parties.


RTPI_M4E_Graphic _72rgbA Map for England (2012) Examines a broad range of existing government policies and how they relate to each other. It found large numbers of policies and programmes have a strong spatial aspect to them. By overlaying a number of these maps and diagrams together, the researchers demonstrated that some policies and programmes, when considered against each other in relation to different parts of the country, may have unintended consequences. A compendium of policies in map form is also available.


PH cover 1Thinking Spatially (2014) Building on the Map for England project, this Planning Horizons project seeks to address the global challenges we face and how the lack of spatial thinking in much policy and decision making risks turning these challenges into crises. The full paper and a summary version are available.




Urban Form and Sustainability (March 2015) This research briefing provides initial information and evidence on the links between urban form and sustainable outcomes. It looks at sustainability through a spatial perspective, i.e. the location of new housing developments and physical and social infrastructure.

Shaping and Delivering Tomorrow's Places: Effective Practice in Spatial Planning (2007) This project examined how spatial planning has been delivered. It focused on the outcomes of planning for places rather than the processes involved in preparing spatial plans. The project involved practising planners and also local authority Chief Executives, Councillors and other public agencies involved in the development and delivery of this approach. A summary is also available.

Measuring the Outcomes of Spatial Planning in England (2008) RTPI and CLG Research was undertaken to explore how indicators can be used to assess and improve the contribution of spatial planning to the delivery of sustainable development. Makes recommendations for the use and on-going development and review of the outcome indicators framework.