RTPI outlines adaptable, collaborative and global approach to research in new strategy

rtpi globe

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has launched its latest Research Strategy, setting out the Institute’s vision and aspirations for 2022-2024.

Planning priorities are constantly shifting. While areas such as climate change and affordable housing remain cornerstones of research focus, issues such as the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic, both of which have occurred since the launch of the RTPI’s 2019-2021 Work Programme, have shown the challenge of predicting the issues of tomorrow.

Progress within the field will require researchers to seize on opportunities to learn internationally. The RTPI will therefore become more global in its outlook, to promote international research where possible, and increase its use of external research, particularly research undertaken by RTPI accredited planning schools.

In its latest three page strategy, released today, the RTPI is taking an adaptive approach to its usual detailed 39-page Research Programme to ensure it is always prepared for ever-changing global challenges.

Aude Bicquelet-Lock Deputy Head of Policy and Research at the RTPI, said: “As a professional membership body, a charity and a learned institute, we’re in a unique position to understand the research needs of planners in the UK, Ireland and globally. As such, we understand that global issues are not always predictable, and well-planned research does not always reflect current issues.

“Since the launch of our last research programme, we’ve seen the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, both of which shifted critical contemporary questions around how to build healthy, resilient Cities.

“Our new research strategy aims to take a broader approach to research that will allow us to be flexible, and ready to adapt when unpredictable situations happen. We want to advance knowledge across all sectors of planning to ensure that policymakers and practitioners have the information and expertise to deliver the best outcomes.”

Janet Askew, former president of the RTPI and current Chair of the Policy, Practice and Research Committee at the RTPI said: “The research agenda is changing all the time. Three years ago, when we published our last Research Programme, we could not have foreseen the extent of new areas of research presented by migration and humanitarian impacts or the climate crisis.

“The RTPI must work with planners internationally to show how we are responsive and flexible in our approach to the urgent needs of society. I very much welcome the initiatives and ideas in our new research strategy, and I am confident that we will develop ways of conducting and disseminating research over the next few years.”


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023