The Royal Town Planning Institute and digital planning pioneers Future Cities Catapult have jointly called on the planning profession to make bolder steps to embrace digital technology.
The 2 organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build awareness amongst RTPI’s 25,000 members about the opportunities of using digital technology to enhance their impact and digitise more monotonous tasks, freeing planners to plan.
The call to action comes after RTPI and FCC met with the Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, to explore how digital technology can help fix the broken housing market.
The MOU sets out how the RTPI and FCC will work together to:
- Raise awareness of digital tools and approaches in planning, through signposting, guidance, conferences and outreach, including a joint PlanTech conference in 2019 and a new technology award as part of the RTPI annual planning awards
- Utilise the RTPIs extensive partnerships with academia, industry and professionals to research, analyse and communicate the key opportunities for planning technology
- Embed planning technology into academic and CPD courses to ensure that new and existing planners are well placed to lead on this agenda
- Share the lessons and opportunities of planning technology through the RTPIs wider international network
Victoria Hills, RTPI chief executive, said: “Now more than ever we need planners to be strategic and creative to address the challenges and opportunities the country faces. In our ongoing campaign for the planning function to be better resourced and valued, we must also look at what planners can do themselves to make their job more satisfying and game-changing. Digital technology, already used by many of our members, has huge potential for the profession. This partnership with Futures Catapult will boost our expertise and vision to drive it forwards.”
Stefan Webb, director of digital planning, FCC said: “Our research and development has suggested that a digitally transformed planning system has the potential to radically change the way that planners do their work. In particular we are excited about the opportunities to remove many of the dull and monotonous tasks that take up planners time, and free planners to plan. This new partnership with RTPI will allow the pioneering work Future Cities Catapult have been doing to bridge the digital divide between town planners and digital technologies, to be scaled to RTPI planners in the UK and its network globally.”