Getting global inspiration on planning

When Fiona Reynolds, our director-general, visited Canada last year she came back inspired by their holistic approach to planning and ‘smart growth’. So when we at Planning for People HQ happened upon Sarah Longlands’s recent article on The transformative power of planning we felt the same way about her global mission for “fresh thinking on the subject” of planning from beyond our borders.

In her article, this academic from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies argues that we – in England – have “forgotten the purpose” of our planning system and its “transformative power” to act as a “vital and energising force for places, people and their local economies.”

We couldn’t agree more. We believe good planning provides a golden opportunity for an urban renaissance while presiding over a sensitive and locally driven evolution of our countryside. We are still hopeful that the final NPPF planning reforms – expected on Budget Day (21 March) – will provide a framework for both.

In the meantime, we’ve found it enlightening to dip into international experiences from Curitiba in Brazil – with its forward-thinking approach to public transport and the designation of parks and green spaces – to the musings of ecologist and blogger Richard Wilson on NPPF from the ancient forests of Tenerife.

Kate Joynes-Burgess, Social Media & Communities Manager

You can read Sarah Longlands’ article in full, the result of an international research project, in NewStart magazine where it was first published. 

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