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The Royal Town Planning Institute welcomes the urban task force halfway report. ...
The Royal Town Planning Institute welcomes the urban task force halfway report.

Brian Raggett, senior vice president of the institute, said:

'The task force has the potential to help change public beliefs - that planning is a peripheral activity or an unnecessary obstacle - to the recognition that planning is central to the future health of our urban areas. A key challenge will be to dispel the mindset that planning and urbanism consist only of old-fashioned land use planning, and reinforce its integrated new thinking across economics, design and sustainable development.

'The task force is right to emphasise quality urban development, but this must mean the design of places and spaces that the people want to move to, not the imposed solutions of experts blinkered by strongly held dogma.

'The task force also needs to recognise, in its recommendations on land use planning, that development - both on urban recycled land and in greenfield locations - will be needed in order to provide one million new homes every five years, for the next 25 years.

'In some areas, green field development will be the proper route to follow. Smaller towns and villages must be helped to evolve and be economically successful.

'Nor should we be too deprecating of past achievements - cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Salford and Leicester are already at the forefront of the integrated activities highlighted in the urban task force report.

'But for this to continue and have a wider application, it is vital that new financial mechanisms to fund innovative ideas are put in place, and then retained long-term. We must move away from the quick-fix palliatives we have been used to.

'The urban task force now needs to move its agenda forward from joined up thinking, to joined up action for joined up places. The institute has countless members who already practice the urbanism which the task force wants. Planners are more than willing to help achieve the goals to which the task force aspires'.

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