What is town planning for? The Royal Town Planning Institute champions the ‘power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities’. The Town & Country Planning Association ‘works to challenge, inspire and support people to create healthy, sustainable and resilient places that are fair for everyone’. As Raymond Unwin wrote in the foreword to the Housing, Town Planning, Etc, Act of 1909: “Town Planning has a prosaic sound, but the words stand for a movement which has perhaps a more direct bearing on the life and happiness of great masses of the people than any other single movement of our time”.
Who is town planning for? How are we to reconcile these lofty ambitions with the fact that black and other minorities are at least twice as likely to be deprived of green space compared to a white person in the UK; with the fact the average amount of money accrued by owning property over the last decade is £150,000 for the average white family and £0 for the average black family; and with the fact that whilst 3% of White households live in overcrowded accommodation, that figure rises to 22% for Black households, 23% for Indian households and 35% for Pakistani and Bangladeshi households.
Does planning remain a progressive force for social justice or has it become a regressive tool for the preservation of the status quo?
Sam Stafford puts these questions to:
- Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography and Fellow of St Peter’s College at Oxford University
- Vicky Payne, Planner and Urbanist at URBED
- Ben Southwood, Head of Housing, Transport & Urban Space at Policy Exchange
BECG proudly supports the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast from Samuel Stafford, Regional Strategic Land Director at Barratt Developments.