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Town planning ‘heroes’ to be recognised at RTPI Awards 2021

The innovative work of planners in response to the Covid-19 pandemic is to be recognised at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) national awards ceremony, to be held online in April.

The annual RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the longest-running and most respected in the UK planning industry. The awards celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society throughout the UK and around the globe.

Finalists announced today in the Planning Heroes in a Pandemic category include consultancies AEC, LUC and Pegasus Group, and the planning teams at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and the Planning Inspectorate.

In total, more than 90 projects, teams and individuals across 15 categories have been selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges.

Image: Finalists at the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2021 include (clockwise from top left) Imogen Thompson (AEC), Gideon Amos (AEC), Michelle Simpson-Gallego (Pegasus Group), Emmeline Reynish (Arup), Laura McCombe (Boyer), Daniel Wilson (HGH Consulting), Rebecca Dewey (WSP), Daniel Young (Portsmouth City Council)

RTPI President Wei Yang FRTPI said: “For over 40 years, these prestigious awards have celebrated the exceptional work undertaken by town planners. In the middle of a global pandemic, I believe they are more relevant than ever before as we showcase the very best of our profession from all the RTPI’s regions and nations and from countries around the world.

“I am particularly pleased to see this year a new category has been created to recognise the incredible commitment and dedication of planners who have risen to the challenge of responding to the impacts of Covid-19 on the planning system.

“I wish all the finalists the very best of luck at the ceremony.”

The climax of this year’s ceremony, which will broadcast on 29 April 2021 at 1600hrs, will be the presentation of the Silver Jubilee Cup, awarded to the project adjudged best overall.

The judging panel in 2021 is chaired by Dyan Currie HonMRTPI, Chief Planner at Brisbane City Council, Australia and immediate Past President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners.

Headline sponsor of this year’s event is engineering firm AECOM.

Sarah Elliott MRTPI, UK&I Town Planning Lead for Buildings and Places at AECOM, said: “AECOM is proud to once again be a headline sponsor of this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The finalists are a diverse mixture of outstanding examples of planning, including new responses driven by the pandemic and climate change. Once again this demonstrates the breadth of the impact the profession has on quality place making and delivery in the built environment, alongside our resilience to evolve and adapt.”


>> For the full list of finalists at the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2021, visit

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