Communities must be empowered to reimagine their neighbourhoods post-Covid, says RTPI Scotland

RTPI Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to provide support for communities to help them shape where they live in the wake of COVID-19.

Communities must be empowered to reimagine their neighbourhoods post-Covid, says RTPI Scotland

Publishing its manifesto ahead of the Scottish elections in May, RTPI Scotland said the pandemic had highlighted the importance of having well-designed, attractive and healthy communities where people have local access to the services, shops and facilities they need no more than a 20 minute walk away.

To support this the manifesto calls for the next government to fund communities to develop new Local Place Plans. These new type of plans that provide opportunities for communities to develop proposals and ideas for the development of where they live.

The manifesto also calls for ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ or ‘20-minute places’ to be embedded into decisions in policy, practice and investment, committed funding to tackle the climate emergency, investment in infrastructure

Barbara Cummins, convenor of RTPI Scotland, said: “The pandemic has brought in sharp focus the need to plan, prepare and provide a route map for a different Scotland. Our key focus must be on climate action, health inequalities, the wellbeing economy and affordable housing.

“Empowering communities to design the places in which they live, by engaging in Local Place Plans will ensure more vibrant, accessible and sustainable places to live and work post-Covid.

“Each Local Place Plan could cost between £10,000 and £30,000 but there is currently no designated funding in place to support this.”

The manifesto also calls for a forward-looking and ambitious 4th National Planning Framework, supported by committed funding to help tackle climate change and achieve net zero carbon targets.

It builds on a strong foundation of RTPI research, including its Plan the World We Need campaign which calls on all four governments across the UK to adequately resource the planning system to enable a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery post-Covid.

Ms Cummins added: “There needs to be a proactive, well-resourced, proactive planning service in place to support the implementation of our vision. From establishing existing deficiencies in active travel infrastructure and services, to restraining new housing and retail which are dislocated from settlements, a well-funded planning service will be essential in weaving together Local Place Plans across localities.”

Click here to read a blog written by Nick Wright MRTPI on the benefits of 20-minute neighbourhoods and Local Place Plans.

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