UWE showcases the best in international planning research

Issue date: 10 September 2013

Annual UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference 11-13 September 2013

UWE Bristol is hosting a major international conference showcasing the latest in planning research on 11 September.

The conference will present academic research at the forefront of current issues in planning. It will focus on the role of planners in areas such as transport, planning for healthy communities, climate change, economic development and regeneration.

As well as hearing from Bristol's mayor, George Ferguson, and leaders of the UK's major planning bodies and Bristol community organisations, delegates will have a chance to explore areas of Bristol which will show the results of urban planning - both negative and positive - in practice.

Organiser Katie McClymont said, “We aim to showcase good planning and make the case for better planning. As well as presenting the cutting edge of positive planning research, delegates will have a tour of parts of central Bristol to see how these ideas have worked out in practice.

“In recent years, planning has been under renewed attack, being seen as the cause of housing shortages, urban sprawl, environmental degradation and the break-up of communities. This is nothing novel, and those who take a long view can see how different governments undervalued and ignored the potential for planning to promote a better quality of life for all.

“However, instead of focusing on the negatives, seeing planning in crisis, or wondering what role there is for planning now, this conference will be the academic vanguard for planning.”

Other topics that will be discussed include gender, diversity and social justice; neighbourhood and community planning; regional and strategic planning; learning and education; urban design and governance and planning policy.

Delegates will come from most of the accredited planning schools in the UK and will include representatives of public, voluntary and community sectors, bringing together a wealth of expertise and experience.

One keynote speaker, Melissa Mean, is from Knowle West Media Centre, a media arts charity that supports cultural, social and economic regeneration. She said, “Creativity, innovation and experimentation are not usually words associated with planning or planners. But we are in a potentially radical new era as communities begin to exercise their muscles with the more democratic planning powers brought in by the Localism Act. A key question is how will the profession respond to this new collaborative, activist-led landscape?”

Roundtable discussions from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Planners Network UK (PNUK) will explore how to strengthen links between planning academics, policymakers, practitioners and communities, highlighting the importance and potential of planning to make these connections.

The conference is entitled Healthy communities; hopeful places: In Defence of Planning. For more information click here.

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