Thursday, May 24, 2018

Planning for Climate Change - are the RTPI and/or TCPA up to the job?

The Royal Town Planning Institute (25,000 professional practitioners) and the Town and Country Planning Association have unusually cooperated in producing  Planning for Climate Change (does the title sound as if they want to bring it on?), and the following thoughts have been sent to them. It is intended to be a ‘living document’ where amendments would keep it up to date.

At p38 and Box 5 there is what appears to be a mistake.  Unless cynicism
has got the better of the authors the ‘presumption’ in the NPPF is said to be in favour of 'sustainable development'.  The problem has been that 'sustainable' has not been applied as it should have been could have been and this should be a main platform for campaigning by both organization.

No reference has been made to the National Infrastructure Commission (and specifically Congestion, Capacity and Carbon that explains why road building does not relieve congestion), the National Policy Statements and the RICS publication at  This fantastic research actually makes the point that regulations (ie planning) has not caught up.

There does not appear to be reference refers to the 1.5 degree ambition? If the suggested lower traffic speeds are introduced  to encourage cyclists then this would increase emissions and should be linked to a recommendation to reduce the national speed limit to stimulate demand for cars more efficient and less polluting at lower speeds.

Having looked back at Planning to Reduce Carbon Emissions (the title
works because there is nothing about adaptation)
revealed that food/agriculture is an important sector, post-occupancy evaluations  are necessary to reduce the performance gap in
current building, and trees could also be important.  Under-occupancy needs to be addressed (green custom-splitting is starting to be discussed) ie the balancing of the size of dwelling and households, and the energy efficiency of bungalows (being touted as suitable for the elderly) can be 5x less efficient than terraced housing.
Planning to Reduce Carbon Emissions makes the claim that 50% of emissions could be eliminated through the control over the use of land and buildings. It is unlikely that Planning for Climate Change would get to that target.