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PERN Bulletin 9/2011

RTPI Young Planners Conference 2011

This years Young Planners Conference takes place from 21-22 October 2011 in Birmingham. The event will help participants gain an understanding of the Governments Plan for Growth, and how we can better respond to the need to plan for future generations. The programme is now available, and an Early Bird discount of just 99 + VAT is on offer. Find out more or book a place.

Can localism work for older people in urban environments?

Recent research by the International Longevity Centre argues that the success of the Localism Bill depends on equitable access to social networks and information, as well as substantial levels of political interest and community engagement. But it finds that these are lacking for some people, particularly older people, living in urban communities. Read more.

Local action on climate change

Until recently, local action on climate change was driven by national targets. The localism agenda has removed many of the structures that governed local authority activity, but it is assumed that local authorities will now work more closely with citizens to take action on local issues. The Green Alliance is carrying out an online survey on the implications of localism for the environment. If you work for a local authority or civil society group please take part in the survey.

Request for help

The RTPI is currently preparing a new CPD course on community engagement and is looking for experts in the subject to provide a reading list or literature review. This review would need to be completed by 24 June 2011. If you can help, or would like to know more, please contact Francesca Demontis.

New research project on the abolition of regional spatial strategies

Professor Martin Boddy (UWE) and Hannah Hickman (consultant) are undertaking a research project on the impact of the proposed abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies on the West of England sub-region (Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

They will be doing in-depth interviews with practitioners to explore questions such as: how effective was the RSS at addressing cross boundary issues?; and, did the RSS help provide a sound basis for investment decisions?

Martin and Hannah would be interested to know about any similar studies going on. Please email Hannah at if you can help.

Calls for papers

Cities, their universities and the creation of knowledge and innovation

A conference organised within the framework for the Polish Presidency of the EU is being held in Warsaw from 26-27 September 2011. The conference will focus on the role of universities in the production of knowledge and innovation and the interplay between the city, region and the university. Abstracts should be submitted by 1 July 2011. More details can be found online.

International Research Conference 2011

The International Research Conference takes place in Berlin from 27-28 October 2011. The theme is planning/conflict: critical perspectives on contentious urban developments. The conference will bring together different perspectives on urban development conflicts and will focus on the role of planning practice in reframing and solving conflicts. Proposals should be submitted by 1 August 2011.

Dortmund Conference 2012

Papers are welcomed for the Dortmund Conference 2012 which will focus on 'the mobile and the immobile'. Abstracts must be submitted by 31 August 2011 on topics including the effect of technology on the mobile and immobile; social constructions of the mobile and immobile; and the importance of places in a mobile world. Read more.

Other publications

Education, learning and community in New Earswick

A new book, which is free to download online, has been published giving the history and development of New Earswick, the village established by the Rowntree family. The book looks at the ideas that underpinned the villages creation and focuses on education and learning within the community. Download the book.

Air pollution and health in Europe

Findings of a long-term EU study into the impact of air pollution on health have recently been published. The report shows that life expectancy and monetary benefits increase when air pollution is reduced in European cities. The project focused on issues such as how Health Impact Assessments can be made more meaningful for developing policies and recommendations on air pollution for urban areas. Read the report.

Other events

Campaign for Social Science roadshows

TheCampaign for Social Science aims to ensure that social science is better understood and appreciated. Their regional roadshows continue with events at the University of Essex on 24 June 2011, and UCL on 27 June 2011. Book your place online.

Evidence of building the Big Society

The Social Research Association summer event takes place in London on 5 July 2011. The event will focus on assessing how firm the underpinnings of any future Big Society may be, and whether it is based on solid foundations or shifting sands.View the conference programme.

Childhood and poverty in urban neighbourhoods

A new book entitled Family Futures: Childhood and poverty in urban neighbourhoods is being launched on 5 July 2011 in London. The book considers family life in areas of poverty and outlines how certain initiatives help alleviate problems. To book a place at the event, email Cheryl Conner at or call 0044 20 7955 6330 for more information.

How planning can support a healthy and sustainable food system

This event takes place in London on 15 July 2011. It will explore how planners, local authorities and food and community organisations can influence and use planning policy to create a more sustainable food system. Find out more or book online.

Understanding society

The first Understanding Society/British Household Panel Survey Conference takes place from 30 June-1 July 2011 at the University of Essex. The conference will consider areas such as the labour market, health, housing and migration. Register to attend.

Spatial perspectives on the governance of public goods

An international research workshop is being held from 29-30 September 2011 in Erkner, Germany. The workshop will explore the spatial dimension of the governance of public goods and promote dialogue between geographers, historians and social scientists on the subject. Find out more about the workshop.