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Our new Research Strategy, which follows on from our Research Programme, aims to take a broader approach to research that will allow us to be flexible, and ready to adapt when unpredictable situations happen. We want to advance knowledge across all sectors of planning to ensure that policymakers and practitioners have the information and expertise to deliver the best outcomes.

An introductory video

Prof. Aude Bicquelet Lock, RTPI Deputy Head of Policy and Research in conversation with Janet Askew, President of the European Council of Spatial Planners, and Mark Scott, Professor of Planning and Dean of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. Aude leads the discussion around the launch of the new RTPI Research Strategy.

Read the strategy

You can read the strategy in full below or download here

Our vision

Our research will celebrate and advance the Institute’s role as a Learned Society. We will undertake and disseminate noteworthy and unbiased research to enhance knowledge, skills, policy and decision-making practices within the planning profession and beyond.

The RTPI is committed to promoting planning excellence, and undertaking planning research is one of the ten foundations of the RTPI Corporate StrategyWe will build upon our widely respected research and policy work to broaden the impact of our influence, focusing on the key issues of interest to our members and our stakeholders, in particular government and the general public. We will work with other partners to maximise our impact where it is appropriate to do so, whilst protecting our professional intellectual property.

We will therefore generate, commission and support research content which:

  • Promotes planners and planning as a means of addressing social and environmental challenges.
  • Continues to advocate the value of planning within the UK, Ireland and globally.
  • Supports learning and improvement in planning practice and skills.

In doing the above, we will abide by our research ethics and principles established in 2018.

We continue to publish our own internationally acclaimed journal Planning Theory & Practice.

What have we done

The RTPI has delivered its 2019-2021 Research Programme, including over forty research papers, ten practice advice notes and four peer-reviewed journal articles.  The last two years have demonstrated the need to facilitate quick responses to unexpected (yet crucial) research needs, as demonstrated by the Covid-19 pandemic.  We have also adopted a CHANGE action plan and International Strategy which provide additional important contexts for our work.  Between January and July 2021, the RTPI conducted a comprehensive consultation exercise with members and stakeholders on our future research priorities. This Strategy seeks to capture the key priorities raised by members during this consultation.

What will we do

Our vision for 2022-2024 reinforces the RTPI’s position as a world leading professional planning body. To this end, the following objectives have been devised to ensure all research that the RTPI publishes, contributes to and promotes during the lifespan of this Strategy will further the attainment of our vision as well as that of the Corporate Strategy.

Our research objectives

How will we do this

Our objectives will be actioned using three guiding principles that will underpin all research work conducted, and which reflect the feedback voiced by members during the consultation process:

  • A desire for greater collaboration between the RTPI and other organisations, such as universities, in the commissioning and dissemination of research.
  • A desire for the RTPI to further enhance its role as planning advocate, promoting increased planning research funding and planning research excellence generally.
  • A desire for the RTPI to bridge the gap between planning policy, research and practice, ensuring the dissemination of relevant planning research, whether it be from the RTPI, universities or elsewhere, to a wide audience across all sectors within the planning profession and beyond.

Our research principles and actions