The Future of Planning programme explores how design, data and digital tools can improve the planning process in the UK
Bristol, Plymouth and Newcastle have been named as leading UK cities with regards to their forward-leaning and technology-driven planning systems, new research finds.
The report is part of Future Cities Catapult’s Future of Planning programme, which explores how design, data and digital tools can improve the ways in which planning is conducted in the UK.
Examining 33 different planning initiatives from cities and regions around the world, the three cities were praised for their advocacy of new ideas and digital tools, and collaboration with big business, SMEs and academia.
The research investigated how new techniques and technologies are beginning to permeate the planning system both in the UK and globally, and found that innovation is sparse, with few places adopting digital and data-driven techniques across all elements of the planning process.
A major stumbling block is that planning occurs in silos, with work taking place on separate platforms using different technologies, techniques and data standards, thereby reducing the opportunities for collaboration, coordination and iterative co-design, said Future Cities Catapult.
It also found that there is no private sector monopoly on innovation in planning. Planning consultants, developers and, to a lesser extent, architects, are still behind the curve in adopting data-driven and digitally-enabled tools to improve the efficiency and engagement with the planning system.
The report calls for more use of data and digital tools across the planning piece, arguing the need for innovations across the following themes:
“People are always grumpy about the planning system and how difficult it is to change. With exciting technological advances such as Big Data and the Internet of Things, the time has come to make digital solutions for planning happen, said Peter Madden, chief executive officer of Future Cities Catapult.
“We want to break the silos that divide and delay processes, which is why we’ve launched our Future of Planning programme. By integrating the various elements of the planning system, we hope the process will be simpler and cheaper, and deliver the kind of homes, communities and cities everyone wants.”
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