This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best possible experience. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this. You can find out more about how we use cookies here. If you would like to know more about cookies, or how you can delete them, click here.

If ever there was a time for a strong planning profession, this is it

20 June 2017 Author: Dr Michael Harris

Whatever the current political instability – or indeed because of it – now is the time for a stronger planning profession to help solve the country’s problems.

Whether it’s the crisis in housing affordability, widening inequalities between regions, increasing air pollution, or the incontrovertible threat of climate change, it’s increasingly clear that we need a much stronger and more coordinated set of responses to the challenges we face.

With membership reaching more than 24,000 for the first time, we’re working to build a stronger Institute, but we’re not complacent.

Of course, the RTPI has been trying to engage with these issues through its work – for example by emphasising the importance of place in reducing poverty and inequality, tracking how sustainable new housing development is, how planning can support the growth of technology clusters, how we can respond to an ageing population, and promoting the value of planning more broadly.

But the answers to these problems won’t ultimately be found in reports, neither can we just rely on national policy – they’ll be found in the work that planners on the ground do with others to create better places for all.

And of course, we can’t ignore the fact that planning departments have been the hardest hit of all local authority functions at a time when we need more and better planning – an issue that the Institute will continue to campaign on.

The RTPI’s officers are keenly aware that the strength of the Institute, and relatedly of the planning profession, lies in its members.

Now is the time for RTPI members to tell us what they want the Institute to be doing next.

That’s why we’ve been working to grow the Institute – with streamlined Routes to Membership, free membership for students on RTPI accredited courses, Future Planner bursaries to support young people studying planning, and an active programme of visits to schools, colleges and career fairs.

We’ve also been conducting a programme of research on students, Licentiates, lapsed and non-members, to find out what they want from the Institute and what would help them to retain their membership or (re-)join.

With membership reaching more than 24,000 for the first time, we’re working to build a stronger Institute, but we’re not complacent.

Now is the time for RTPI members to tell us what they want the Institute to be doing next.

How can we better support members at every stage of their careers?

What skills do members want more help with?

What barriers are members facing in their careers?

And what issues do they want the Institute to prioritise over the next few years?

If you’re a member of the Institute, we’d really appreciate it if you could spare just 10 minutes to complete the RTPI Membership Survey.

(To see what we did as a result of the 2013 membership survey, check out the list on the RTPI website).

And for every completed survey response, the Institute will make a donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which supports families and communities affected by armed conflict or natural disasters in conflict regions around the world.

The survey will be open until 5th July and we’ll publish the findings from the survey later this year.

Help us to build a stronger planning profession.

 

 

Dr Michael Harris

Dr Michael Harris

Deputy Head of Policy and Research, RTPI