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People, Place and the Planning Process

Victoria Thornton's blog

As part of its centenary year celebrations in 2014 the Royal Town Planning Institute in London has just published ‘Kaleidoscope City:  Reflections on Planning and London’, a critical collection of essays exploring the past, present and future of planning in the capital.I was asked to contribute an essay to this on ‘Looking Further: Developing a Wider Understanding of the Built Environment’. This provided an opportunity to reflect again on the relationship between the planning process, professionals and the communities they serve.

Today the right of the wider community to be consulted on development proposals has become embedded in law and emboldened in practice. Communities also now have more power to shape local planning policies, in theory at least, because of the legal framework for neighbourhood representation.

Yet there’s still a long way to go to ensure that there is long-term engagement, participation and dialogue. Unfortunately much of the…

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