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PERN Bulletin 6/2012

Network news

Planning theory and practice

The latest issue of Planning Theory and Practice asks the question: How do different groups and agencies involved in a collaborative process learn to find and actively create windows of opportunity for the development of alternative planning arrangements? An article on indigenous state planning as inter-institutional capacity development provides an examination of the rise of a government-to-government approach to public land management, involving both the provincial and relevant indigenous governments in British Columbia.

A further article looks at TV as a public participation tool. TV, boon or bane? evaluates the effectiveness of a live televised town meeting in the USA using democratic principles. Though it successfully reached a wide audience in a short time period, the medium was inherently undemocratic (in the timing and scheduling of the show). RTPI members can subscribe to the journal for just £33 per year via the RTPI subscriptions page.

Regional Studies call for new editorial team

The Regional Studies Association is looking to appoint a new editorial team for its Regional Studies journal. The journal has robust standing within the academic community, and the Association is seeking a suitably qualified team to continue to develop its intellectual mission. The closing date for applications is 3 October 2012 (by 5pm GMT). The Association is also looking to appoint an early career editor for Regional Studies. The deadline for this post is 7 September 2012 (by 5pm GMT).

Benchmarking UK planning systems call for information

The RTPI would like to know whether any research is being carried out which compares the UK planning systems with international development consent systems. We are particularly interested to know about comparative research into timescales, costs, and the probability of gaining consents in different planning systems. If you know of or are conducting any such research, please email

Research published on abolition of the regional spatial strategies

Research carried out by Professor Martin Boddy and Hannah Hickman at the University of the West of England on the abolition of regional spatial strategies has been published. The report sets out findings from research into stakeholders views on the abolition of the RSS, focused on the West of England. Read the summary report and final report.

PAS state of the nation survey

The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) would like to understand how useful its service is to the planning community, and has set up an online survey. It asking for those working in planning at local authority level to respond. The survey is one element of an on-going evaluation of PAS services, and should only take around 15 minutes to complete. The survey can be accessed at

Social science bites

Social Science Space has launched a new series of podcasts in which leading social scientists give their thoughts on societal issues. A recent one features Avner de-Shalit (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) who discusses the spirit of cities. He argues that not all cities have a spirit, or ethos, and suggests that New York has a spirit of ambition, while London is spirit-less.

Calls  for papers

Territorial development strategies in the age of austerity

The Regional Studies Association Winter Conference takes place in London on 23 November 2012 and will consider territorial development strategies in the age of austerity. Papers are invited on themes such as the uneven spatial impacts of economic crisis and austerity, managing decline and peripherality, and implementing smart growth principles in the age of austerity. Abstracts must be submitted by 9 July 2012.

Higher education and the remaking of the right to the city

The International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development is welcoming submissions for a special issue on higher education and the remaking of the right to the city. The issue will explore the role of higher education in the environmentally and socially just city of the future. Topics to be considered include environmental justice, resilience, urban food security, social networking and urban democracy. Papers should be submitted by 10 December 2012.

Other publications

English regional planning 2000-2010

The latest title in the RTPI Library Series is due to be published in early July. English regional planning 2000-2010, edited by Corinne Swain, Tim Marshall and Tony Baden, chronicles UK planning activity during the period of the Blair and Brown governments up to 2010. It focuses particularly on the regional scale, where large steps forward were made, but where policy making often proved controversial. The book contributes to the understanding of how strategic planning can provide the framework for guiding spatial change and allocating resources for a long-term sustainable future.

Redefining urban

A recent OECD report compares urban trends in OECD countries on the basis of a newly defined methodology enabling cross-country comparison of the socio-economic and environmental performance of metropolitan areas. Redefining 'urban' - a new way to measure metropolitan areas also includes three original papers that present the urbanisation dynamics and prospects in China and South Africa.

How local authorities can reduce emissions and manage climate risks

The Committee on Climate Change has published a report which emphasises the role that local authorities can play in helping the UK meet its carbon targets. How local authorities can reduce emissions and manage climate risks outlines specific opportunities for reducing emissions and highlights good practice examples from a number of local authorities.

Community energy planning, development and delivery

The Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA) has produced a guide to help planners and project developers understand and create energy maps, and recognise where there are opportunities for decentralised energy.  Community Energy - Planning, Development and Delivery provides information on energy maps as tools for identifying suitable technologies and approaches to energy generation, distribution and supply, and presents a district heating installation map of the UK.

Wind energy and justice for disadvantaged communities

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has produced a viewpoint examining community benefits from renewable energy projects, particularly wind power, in the context of distributive justice. Wind energy and justice for disadvantaged communities seeks to establish the principles of justice for requiring wind farm developers to provide some form of benefits to communities.

Land policy planning and the spatial consequences of property

A new book by Benjamin Davy has been published which examines land policy and the spatial consequences of property. Land Policy provides an understanding of land policy in the context of law and markets using examples from Germany, and considers the interrelationships between land policy and political discourses on territory, real estate and the environment. 

Other events

Introduction to GIS

The University of Leeds is holding two courses on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) using ESRIs ArcGIS version 10.0 software and MapInfo Professional. The MapInfo course takes place from 27-28 June 2012, and ArcGIS from 26-27 July 2012. Both are open to students and staff at all Higher Education Institutions in the UK and Ireland, but places must be booked online.

Living with our buildings and infrastructure adapting for the future

The Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate Coordination Network (ARCC CN) is holding a conference in Birmingham from 18-19 September 2012. The event will showcase the outputs and key messages emerging from ARCC CN projects and focus on adaptation and resilience to climate change in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. The conference is free to attend, but places are limited so book a place online if you would like to attend.

Catchment based approach conference

The Catchment Based Approach Conference takes place in Leeds on 17 October 2012. Last year, the Government embarked upon a major change to the way it wanted to see delivery of the Water Framework Directive using the Catchment Based Approach. The event will look at results from the evaluation project and consider how they can be applied in practice. Stakeholders of the northern catchments are particularly encouraged to attend.