More multi-discipline teams in planning departments

Some of my best friends are planners....but an observation I would make is that planners rarely seem to add value when it comes to design and placemaking. Particularly at the local authority level we need to drive forward better place vision within development plans and better requirements through briefing and master planning on key development sites.

 

Training of planners in placemaking will only ever be part of the solution and we need stronger multi-disciplinary teams in planning departments, including leadership of planning teams by other disciplines such as landscape architecture and urban design.

In summary, planning needs more placemakers and better team approaches to planning strategy and development management processes. 

Why the contribution is important

Planning needs more creative input and expertise on placemaking. Planners shouldn't be expected to be experts in all areas.

by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 08:09PM

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Comments

  • Posted by EdgeOfCentre February 29, 2016 at 20:15

    Fair point but my experience with local authorities suggests that we are losing these specialist roles in favour of generic planners, who as you say can't be experts in all areas. A theme across many of the posts on here has been about resources. It would seem, a properly resourced, less wasteful, planning department might help to resolve a number of issues raised on this forum.
  • Posted by Redfox February 29, 2016 at 21:00

    Agree, but only part of the problem. The lack of any other disciplines in areas such as the DPEA frequently undermines or disregards placemaking. Specialist resources are not valued because the only measurement of performance is speed. We need to start judging authorities by the quality of their built environment or perhaps how quickly they refuse poor proposal (thereby prioritising and encouraging good development proposal).
  • Posted by Anonymous February 29, 2016 at 21:42

    Edge of centre- I suppose I was suggesting that other disciplines could lead on planning tasks, particularly relating to development plans. Controversial I know but why does it always have to be a planner if they are not best placed to deliver towards the best place outcomes- for example site briefs or processes for tricky sites in urban design terms could be delivered by other built environment specialists, supported by planners. Good points Redfox, DPEA and ECDU could benefit from multi-disciplinary input.
  • Posted by Anonymous February 29, 2016 at 21:42

    Edge of centre- I suppose I was suggesting that other disciplines could lead on planning tasks, particularly relating to development plans. Controversial I know but why does it always have to be a planner if they are not best placed to deliver towards the best place outcomes- for example site briefs or processes for tricky sites in urban design terms could be delivered by other built environment specialists, supported by planners. Good points Redfox, DPEA and ECDU could benefit from multi-disciplinary input.
  • Posted by EdgeOfCentre February 29, 2016 at 21:58

    Anonymous - I wouldn't disagree with that but a planner should also be part of the project team. As I say, the issue is often about resources and having the right skills in the right place regardless of who takes the lead.
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