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RTPI Scotland Annual Conference

Scotland 2050: What do we want Scotland to be and how do we make it happen?

2 October at the COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh

Scotland conference image


National Planning Framework 4 will set out a vision for how Scotland should be planned over the next 20 to 30 years.  Early work on preparing NPF4 will follow the Planning Bill. So what do we want this to advocate? Do we want or need Scotland to be business as usual? Or should we be advocating for inclusive growth, balanced growth, a resilient country? And what will the impacts be of technological change? How could NPF support communities and social justice?  What should NPF4 say about how we treat and use our environment?

This conference will aim to explore the trends, opportunities and challenges and the actions required to make the Scotland we think we need.  Speakers have been asked to be 'disruptive' in arguing for what they think Scotland needs and how planning, planners and the National Planning Framework can do this. There will also be a session where we will hear about approaches being taken to planning in other parts of the world to see what can be learned in taking forward NPF4. There will be plenty of opportunities for delegates to engage in the debate and we hope to come with a manifesto to help inform the development of NPF4.


9.30     Registration

10.00   Welcome and Introduction: Where Have We Come From?

Fraser Carlin MRTPI, Convenor, RTPI Scotland

10.05   Ministerial Address: Ambitions for Scotland

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning

What Do We Want Scotland to Be?

This session will look at what our aspirations should be for Scotland. Speakers will outline their aspirations, ideas and challenges on specific outcomes. Each has been asked to set out one key gamechanger that should be put in pace to achieve these aspirations.  

10.30   Climate Change and Resilience

Prof. Samer Bagaeen, Professor of Planning, University of Kent

10.50   Rural

Prof. Sarah Skerratt, Director of Rural Policy Centre, Scottish Rural College

11:10   Communities

Robin McAlpine, Director, Common Weal

11.30   Tea and coffee

11.50   Connectivity

Prof. Tom Rye, Director, Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University

12.10   Economy

Stefano Smith FRTPI, Planning Director, WYG

12.30   Health

Eibhlin McHugh, Co-Director Executive Delivery Group, Public Health Reform

12.50   Energy

Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

13.10   Q+A

13.15   Lunch

What are the Priorities?

14.00   This will be a facilitated, roundtable session facilitated by Graham Ross of Austin-Smith:Lord. It will reflect on the morning's presentations to identify key priorities then explore the opportunities presented, the challenges faced and what NPF4 can do to make it happen.

15.15   Tea/ coffee

What Can We Learn From Elsewhere?

15.45   This session will hear about approaches being taken to planning in other countries to see what can be learned in taking forward NPF4 including:

  • The Wales Planning Policy and Value of Planning

Dr Roisin Willmott OBE, Director of Wales and Northern Ireland, RTPI

  • The Irish National Planning Framework and National Development Plan

Niall Cussen, Chief Planner, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Government of Ireland

16.45   Closing comments


A limited number of tickets are available at a discounted rate for Student and Unemployed Members of the RTPI. If you unemployed and would like to purchase one of these tickets please contact If you are a Student Member please proceed using the form below.

With thanks to headline sponsor:


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