The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) have today jointly launched vital new guidance on how the planning system can help communities face the climate crisis.
With the climate science clearly warning of the catastrophic impacts of climate change, the new guidance seeks to place the Government’s ambitions for net zero, as well as building community resilience to severe weather, at the heart of the planning system.
The guide, published in the run-up COP 26, makes clear the vital importance of the planning system in designing places which cut carbon through the promotion of energy efficiency, sustainable transport and renewable energy. Long term planning is also central in designing the measures vital to the survival of places affected by severe weather, from flooding to heat stress.
Dr Wei Yang, President of the RTPI, said: "Every day we are reminded of the serious and direct impact climate change has on our communities. With the UK government and local authorities making a range of climate commitments in recent years, planning professionals are at the forefront to help achieve these targets.
"We are concerned that the effects of climate change will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable individuals in the country, and we believe the planning system, utilised properly, can prevent this. Also, many of the actions necessary to tackle the climate crisis are also key in creating healthy, ecologically rich, prosperous, and beautiful places for us and for our future generations.
"Together with the TCPA we have set out a range of ways in which the planning system can take the lead in preparing for and tackling climate change. The time to confront the climate crisis is now. We urge local authorities ensure this is heart of the vision for the future of our communities and make it their priority."
Nick Raynsford, President of the TCPA said: "History tells us that good planning has been vital to our survival when our country has faced the greatest threats. That lesson is all the more powerful today when the future of our country and our planet face a massive threat from climate change. Every decision we take over the coming months and years will be crucial if we are to turn the tide, and good planning will be critical to this."