The RTPI has commissioned new research from the University of the West of England (UWE), in partnership with PBA (now a part of Stantec), to find out how strategic infrastructure planning is carried out on the ground.
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The project will interview key individuals from city-regions and counties across England and Scotland to look at, among other issues, the degree of coordination among stakeholders. These typically involve national and local government agencies, regulators, utility companies and service providers, as well as developers and investors each working to different timeframes, across different areas and to different objectives.
It forms part of the RTPI’s Smart City-Regions project, where the Institute is exploring how people are developing new ways of collaborating, sharing information and using technology to plan in a more efficient and coordinated way.
James Harris, RTPI Policy and Networks Manager said: ‘It can be challenging for planners and city leaders to ensure that infrastructure supports wider objectives such as the provision of housing and jobs, or tackling inequality and climate change. However, we know that there is plenty of good practice emerging across the country. We are excited to work with the highly-skilled researchers from the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments at UWE, along with the infrastructure experts at PBA, to shine a light on what is working and see where barriers exist.’
Hannah Hickman, Senior Research Fellow at UWE, said: ‘We are delighted to have been appointed to work with the RTPI on this important subject. Through this project we will be reviewing current practice in a range of contexts, and exploring ideas for achieving a more integrated approach to infrastructure planning. We are excited about working with a wide range of both public and private sector players to develop effective recommendations for future practice.’
Keith Mitchell, Director of Community Development and Infrastructure at PBA, said: ‘We see the challenges that local authorities, promoters, and service providers are faced with on a regular basis, in practice. We also see possible ways of improving how we plan for infrastructure, and see this commission as a great opportunity to examine the issues in more detail, and to identify better practice and potential solutions. We are delighted to be working with UWE and RTPI on this commission. The goal is to find ways of delivering better plans and better places – with the right infrastructure at the right time.’