The philosophy and practice of planning have become more complex in the last twenty years. The scope of challenges nationally and locally has led to shifts in legislation, policy and in expectations of planning. The Royal Town Planning Institute and its partners, including the Office of the Planning Regulator and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage now seek better mechanisms to track future performance against this changing background, looking beyond measurement of processing speed and simple outputs.
Building on previous research that articulates these higher aspirations, the RTPI has commissioned this piece of research to help provide practical ways to gauge how planning delivers on the explicit aspirations of planners and elected representatives, in terms of placemaking and social, economic and environmental value.
This research report is accompanied by a suite of documents to deliver on the research aims. The report covers the research background, process and findings before presenting a practical toolkit that can be used to begin the process of measuring the impact of planning. There is a Handbook that offers practical guidance, documents on the pilots carried out in Ireland and Scotland (including worked examples of a first cycle of toolkit use), the Welsh contextualisation and finally excel sheets providing the practical framework for implementing this new process of measurement.
Bearing in mind that recent planning legislation and policy in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), confirm this directional shift, the toolkit has a complex set of performance parameters to address. This involves shifting measurement beyond narrow development outputs to consideration of wider place outcomes and impacts. In addition, the toolkit needs to be flexible and adaptable, able to be used in different jurisdictions, and to respond and aid performance improvement over multiple monitoring cycles.