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PERN Bulletin 12/2011

Planning for growth what can we learn from Europe?

The UK ESPON Contact Point is holding a conference in London on 30 September 2011 which will bring together policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to discuss how planning can enable growth, and how outputs from the ESPON Programme can be used to support planning and inform decision-making.

The draft programme is now available on theconference web pagealong with background reading and related links. If you would like to attend, please complete and return the registration form by 19 September 2011.

RTPI Nathaniel Lichfield Lecture 2011

Professor Patsy Healey (Professor Emeritus, Newcastle University) will give the RTPI Nathaniel Lichfield Memorial Lecture on the subject of Progressive localism, civic capacity and the role of planning. This will be a key event for anyone interested in the interaction of localism and planning. The lecture will take place in London on 6 October from 6pm, and bookings are now open.

Research Excellence Framework consultation request for comments

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in higher education institutions in the UK. The REFs draft assessment criteria and working methods have been published, and are open to consultation. The RTPI will be responding, and would welcome your input. The questions are available in Annex A of the consultation document. If you have any comments, please send them to by 16 September 2011 so that we can formulate our response.

Planning for the Just City

This, the first University of Sheffield Civic University Lecture, will be given by Professor Susan Fainstein. In the lecture she will reflect on the intellectual and policy implications of her significant new book, The Just City. Professor Susan Owens of the University of Cambridge will respond. It will take place in Sheffield on 21 October 2011. To find out more and to book your free place, visit the event web page.

Strategic approaches to planning for housing

A one day seminar sponsored by the Regional Studies Association is being held at the Centre for Urban Policy Studies, Manchester University on 25 November 2011. 'Strategic Approaches to Planning for Housing: Reflections and Experiences' will focus on issues such as reusing brownfield land for housing development and includes sessions on the approaches to delivering housing being taken in Scotland and the Netherlands. To book a place, please email

Research uptake and communications web survey

Communication and engagement is crucial in ensuring research uptake. The Department for International Developments Research for Development programme would like to know more about how much researchers and research intermediaries know about research communication and research uptake. They have set up a quick online survey to find out.

Call for papers

Human experience in the natural and built environment

The 22nd IAPS Conference is being held at the University of Strathclyde from 24-29 June 2012. The conference will explore human behaviour and experience in the built and natural environment and will focus on the relationship between research, practice and policy. Contributions are welcomed on the three overarching conference themes: Geography and urban context urbanisation and planning in developed and developing countries; Planning, design and evaluation in human environments; Policy implementation and management from international/government level to local/community level. Abstracts should be submitted by 31 October 2011.

Other publications

Plugging health into planning

A new online guide offers a set of resources to help practitioners integrate health and spatial planning. The resources illustrate case studies of how planners in England are integrating health issues into their current projects and highlight how planning can contribute to achieving health objectives. Find out more.

Making the most of social media

Nearly one third of the worlds population is online, and with the web now offering a host of multimedia and social media designed to encourage interaction and networking, more opportunities to engage with stakeholders and give marginalised people a voice in decision-making are available. 'Development online: making the most of social media', produced by the International Institute for Environment and Development, outlines some of these opportunities, and suggests ways in which those in the development sector can make the most of them.

Other events

Mega-events, regional development and regeneration

This Regional Studies Association research network aims to theorise the concept of mega-event led regeneration and develop methods of planning and impact evaluation. The network will also compare and contrast the ambitions and impacts of mega-events with previous events such as Barcelona 1992 and Glasgow 1990. The first network event takes place on 7 September 2011 at the University of Maastricht, and a second is being held in London on 14 September 2011. Read more.

Making a splash: creating water sensitive cities in the UK

An afternoon seminar organised by AECOM to launch water sensitive urban design in the UK will consider pioneering water sensitive design work being delivered in Australia, the USA and Asia. It will also focus on the step-change that was needed in both policy and design ethos to drive integrated solutions. The event takes place on 8 September 2011 in London, and there are limited places left. Find out more.

City futures: new perspectives on place-making

Expert speakers including leading policy-makers, critics, practitioners and academics will present and debate alternative perspectives on place-making for Sheffield and the future city at this conference. The event takes place at Sheffield University on 22 September 2011 and booking information is available on the event web page.

Urbanism week 2011

The theme of Urbanism Week 2011 is so are you an urbanist? and will reflect upon the importance of the urbanism discipline and attempt to establish professional boundaries. The event is being held at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands from 26-30 September 2011. Book online to attend.