The Royal Town Planners Institute (RTPI) has published a new paper, Plan The World We Need, calling for UK governments to make the most of the expertise of planners to help deliver a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It identifies diversification as a core component for securing such an outcome, including housing supply that includes SMEs and self and custom build as a core part of the mix.
The Plan the World We Need campaign focuses on the key role planners have in recovery, supporting the economy, addressing inequality and meeting the vital net-zero targets by 2050.
In the research paper the RTPI stresses the ways in which the pandemic revealed the shortcomings of our places and how we live in them, setting out an agenda for planning a greener recovery that responds to these lessons, not least that of climate change.
The paper highlights five clear investment priorities: low carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future; tree planting, peatland restoration and green infrastructure, strengthening of energy networks, infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle and work remotely; and moves towards a circular economy.
It reviews the impacts of Covid-19 on the built environment, around four areas:
Health and wellbeing: including the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups, such as BAME communities and older people in deprived neighbourhoods
Economic sectors: such as the loss or growth of employment and the shift towards remote working
Travel and transport: The challenges of reallocating road space to more sustainable modes of transport, such as walking and cycling
Net zero carbon: Risks to the investments needed to decarbonise buildings, energy and transport, that could delay progress towards carbon reduction targets
RTPI president, Sue Manns said, “We believe that governments must capitalise on the expertise of spatial planners to tackle place-based inequality, enable a green industrial revolution, prioritise healthy and sustainable modes of transport and coordinate the rapid deployment of zero carbon infrastructure.”
Throughout the 6-month long Plan the World campaign, the RTPI will engage with policy makers, government and other stakeholders across the UK, as well as publish a series of research papers on key issues.
For insight into planning for the custom and self build sector, visit the Right to Build Task Force’s website the Right to Build Toolkit.