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4) International best practice

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In 2015, RTPI research, Planning as 'market maker': How planning is used to stimulate development in Germany, France and The Netherlands[10] was published[11]; it explores how proactive planning can improve the quantity and quality of development in the built environment. Using case studies of Dutch, German and French towns and cities, the research explored what planning in the UK could learn from overseas experience, where 'planning is charged with engaging with the market and providing responses to market failures with which a more passive, regulatory model of planning would be ill-equipped to deal'.

 'What we see from the case studies is that planning interventions that are supportive of economic growth go hand in hand with those that make great places. Good quality public spaces, efficient transport networks and attractive urban design should not be understood as coming at the expense of prosperity but rather as congruent with the economic growth that a development process animated by planning can deliver.' (RTPI research, 'Planning as 'market maker': How planning is used to stimulate development in Germany, France and The Netherlands' 2015)

The RTPI research concludes how a proactive planning system can achieve the objectives of the broadest definition of quality design.

'Often in the UK infrastructure provision and land assembly are reactive responses to private sector proposals for development. This prevents an overall vision being developed for an area that can achieve wider benefits, such as meeting density and volume requirements for house-building, ensuring environmental sustainability of transport and delivering quality in design. The HafenCity model shows how well-resourced, empowered planning institutions can use the full range of planning tools to deliver place outcomes that enable better long-term economic, environmental and social outcomes.' (RTPI research, 'Planning as 'market maker': How planning is used to stimulate development in Germany, France and The Netherlands' 2015)

Beyond the RTPI's own research, there is a wealth of published information and a great deal of evidence available on place making in other countries. Perhaps now less well-publicised, there are (for example) two very relevant Swedish case studies - Västra Hamnen (a district in Malmö) and Hammarby Sjöstad, in Stockholm.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has published Europe's Vibrant New Low Car(bon) Communities[12], an extensive series of case studies that include concise summaries of both the new neighbourhoods at Västra Hamnen ('the western harbour') and the redevelopment of former industrial and harbour land at Hammarby Sjöstad. The case studies very clearly demonstrate how they each  fully satisfy all of the sustainability criteria. The same ITDP publication includes 'lessons learnt'; regarding 'mechanisms for the delivery of policy and design measures' and participatory planning, it highlights the value of 'citizen involvement from initial masterplan consultation through to the creation of lobby groups to influence the masterplanning process' and concludes how residents and potential residents can 'play a large part in shaping car-free or car-reduced developments'.

 

[10] RPTI (2015) Planning as 'market maker': How planning is used to stimulate development in Germany, France and The Netherlands. https://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/1562925/rtpi_research_report_11_planning_as_market_maker_november_2015.pdf

[11] RTPI (2015). Planning as 'market maker': How planning is used to stimulate development in Germany, France and the Netherlands. https://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/research/projects/small-project-impact-research-spire-scheme/planning-as-market-maker/

[12] Institute for Transportation and Development & Development Policy, Nicole Folletta and Simon Field (2011). Europe's vibrant new low car(bon) communities https://www.itdp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/16.-LowCarbonCommunities-Screen.pdf

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