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Young planners’ vision on climate change heard at major conference

07 June 2017

Alasdair Adey MRTPI, Vice Chair of the Scottish Young Planners’ Network, addressed a 1000-strong audience at an international climate change conference in Glasgow on 7 June, highlighting the vital role of young planners in combatting the effects of climate change and ensuring sustainability is at the core of what planners do day to day.

...the current cohort of young planners will be responsible for implementing many of the actions necessary to adapt our places to climate change.

The European Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) is a biennial forum bringing together experts from across the globe to advance research and policy on building resilience to climate change.

Alasdair, a Chartered Member of the RTPI who works as a Planning Consultant for Arcus Consulting, said:

“The organisers of the conference have rightly recognised that the current cohort of young planners will be responsible for implementing many of the actions necessary to adapt our places to climate change.

“I am pleased to share the podium with representatives from the mayoral offices of New York City and Lisbon and the UK Committee on Climate Change and the European Commission to highlight on an international stage the role of Scottish planners and the Scottish planning system in driving forward the climate change agenda. 

“Engaging with young planners today provides an opportunity to ensure that the measures we research and discuss are delivered in practice over the forthcoming years, and the planning profession will ultimately make a valid contribution to delivering a ‘climate ready’ future whilst being a key driver of low carbon, sustainable developments.”

Alasdair highlighted examples including the Commonwealth Athletes Village in the East End of Glasgow and the Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme as examples of what careful planning can achieve.

These developments are evidence of climate change adaptation and mitigation in practice, and demonstrate the role the planning profession can play in helping to deliver climate-ready solutions within our built environment. 

Planners and climate change

RTPI actively engages with relevant climate change issues in the UK, in the devolved nations and internationally. For example, we are member of UKBEAG, the UK’s advisory group to offer built environment expertise on preparing for and responding to humanitarian crises from floods, droughts, earthquakes and human conflicts. In Scotland, we responded to consultation on Scottish Energy Strategy and gave evidence to the Scottish draft Climate Change Plan.

The Institute’s Better Planning project will show how effective spatial planning is an important part of a successful response to climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, through tackling unplanned urban development and environmental degradation, among other factors, and increasing resilience.