Innovative projects put Liverpool City Region in the running for TWO national planning awards

The Liverpool City Region’s innovative approach to spatial development has seen two projects shortlisted for prestigious national planning awards.

Judges at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Excellence shortlisted the Combined Authority’s Natural Capital work for the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment category; while LCR Listens: Our Places, its engagement project to understand local people’s views on where they live, also made the final in the Excellence in Plan Making Practice category.

LCRCA’s Natural Capital work, which is part of its Spatial Development Strategy, carefully considers the environment in new developments by finding opportunities to include Green Infrastructure and habitat provision.

Benefits include the improvement of air quality, access to nature and associated health benefits, flood and climate regulation and support of local communities to underpin a more resilient and healthier economy in the Liverpool City Region.

The Spatial Development Strategy will be the blue print for development over the next 20 years, aiming to make the city region a more prosperous, healthier and greener place to live, work, invest in, and visit.

LCR Listens: Our Places specifically targeted people from groups who traditionally do not engage with planning in their area. The engagement project set out to try and understand local people’s views on where they live, to shape the creation of the Spatial Development Strategy.

Of 2500 respondents, more than 42% were young people, more than half were from neighbourhoods among the most deprived 10% in the country, and 18% were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Running for more than 40 years, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry, celebrating exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:

“Being nominated for these two awards highlights the imaginative and innovative approach we are bringing to our strategic planning work.

“It’s fitting that we should be nominated in these two categories.  Tackling the climate crisis has been one of my key priorities since I was elected and our work on Natural Capital is helping to bring environmental considerations to the heart of the planning process in an innovative way.

“Devolution has meant bringing decisions closer to the people, so it is really great that we are receiving recognition for ensuring that every community has the opportunity to shape our development for the next 20 years.”

Councillor Graham Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Planning at the Combined Authority and Knowsley Council Leader, said:

“To achieve two nominations recognises the hard work of all of the team and it deserves particular congratulations in the current climate of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s so important for local communities to be involved in the creation of these policies as they will influence many aspects of our lives for a long time to come and influence how leaders make decisions for the area.”

RTPI President Wei Yang FRTPI said:

“Many congratulations to all the finalists at this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence – these projects, teams and individuals showcase the very best of the planning profession from all the RTPI’s regions and nations and from countries around the world.

“For over 40 years, these prestigious awards have celebrated the exceptional work undertaken by town planners. In the middle of a global pandemic, I believe they are more relevant than ever before, recognising the incredible commitment and dedication of planners who have risen to the challenge of responding to the impacts of Covid-19 on the planning system. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck at the ceremony on 29 April.”

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