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RTPI commissions research on strategic planning

Many of the thorniest issues in planning sit between the local and national scale. Some examples include: water and energy distribution, transport infrastructure, the location and quantity of new homes. The RTPI believes that there is important work to be done to understand how local authorities work (and fail to work) across boundaries, and how best to effectively arbitrate on cross-boundary matters.

The RTPI’s research team has therefore commissioned a consortium of researchers to study the status and potential of strategic planning in England. We seek to find out where common cause and unarticulated demand for more effective strategic planning may exist. We hope to locate specific barriers which are preventing the emergence of more collaborative approaches to delivering on super-authority issues. The work is funded by contributions from the three northern English regions of the RTPI. Interim findings will be presented in the spring, and the full report will be published by summer 2024.

The consortium of researchers comprises the University of the West of England: Hannah Hickman MRTPI, Dr Stephen Hall, Dr Owain Hamner and Emeritus Prof Martin Boddy together with Catriona Riddell FRTPI and Richard Wood MRTPI. The Principal Investigator is Hannah Hickman. This was the winning submission from an open tender competition which saw many strong research proposals, and we thank all those who put in the time to bid for this work.

“We are delighted to have been appointed to carry out this important research for the RTPI. We believe that understanding the detail of current strategic planning practice (and non-practice) is critical in thinking about the demand for and nature of potential future arrangements. We look forward to engaging with RTPI members over the coming months.”

Hannah Hickman

The researchers will soon be approaching local authority members to fill out a survey, and RTPI members should please keep an eye out for this. This is important for gathering views and information on strategic planning. Opportunity for wider involvement will be announced next month. If you wish to get in touch with the team directly or have any queries about the research, please feel free to contact Hannah Hickman ([email protected]).

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