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Climate guidance for planning launched by RPTI and TCPA

The RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) have launched new guidance on how the planning system can help communities to face the climate crisis.

Published ahead of COP26, it aims to place the government’s net-zero ambitions and building community resilience to severe weather at the heart of the planning system.

The Climate Crisis – A Guide for Local Authorities on Planning for Climate Change warns that time to address the climate crisis is “running desperately short”.

“A resilient and sustainable future is achievable, but only if we act now,” it adds.

It sets out the importance of the planning system to design places that cut carbon through the promotion of energy efficiency, sustainable transport and renewable energy.

The organisations say long-term planning is also central to designing the measures that will help places affected by severe weather – such as flooding and heat stress – to survive.

Recommendations for local authorities in the report include:

  • Consider and prioritise the use of nature-based solutions and natural capital approaches in the design of a new design of development.
  • Build in resilience to future risks (using climate change allowances to identify these risks) in the design of new development (for example, flood defences).
  • The design of sustainable drainage systems and long-term canopy cover should be considered from the outset, and local planning authorities should work closely with landowners, engineers, designers, and contractors.
  • Ensure that water efficiency policies in the local development plan (ie, higher levels of water efficiency) are delivered in new residential development.

This guide is the second from the RTPI and TCPA. In 2018, they published a guide to help planners and politicians tackle climate change through the strategic use of policy and legislation.

The Climate Crisis – A Guide for Local Authorities on Planning for Climate Change can be found on the TCPA website.

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