I am pleased to confirm that I will become Chair of the Cockburn Association in June, when the present Chair, Lord Brodie, steps down.
Civic pride and civic trust are important for community cohesion and well-being, but are being eroded by austerity and a centralised system of planning and local government. This was a central theme of the inaugural Scottish Civic Trust Annual Lecture which I delivered in Edinburgh on 2 March.
Twenty years ago I became RTPI President. Here is the text of the speech I gave to RTPI Council on my inauguration. It ends by reaffirming the manifesto published in 1975 by the Radical Institute Group, of which I was one of the founders.
With the review of planning in Scotland underway (I am due to appear at a "Roundtable" on 23 Feb), I was minded to look back at what I wrote in The Scottish Planner 17 years ago on the consultation "Land Use Planning under a Scottish Parliament".
New Zealand's right-wing minority government is amending the legislation that defines the planning system, to address what it calls problems with "cumbersome planning processes".
China's slowing growth and rising debts have sent tremors through global markets. Urbanisation has been integral to the near double digit annual growth over recent years, so what does the slow down mean for regional and local development within China, and in particular for the local authorities?
Around 8 million live in Afghanistan's cities today, but that number is expected to double by 2030.Yet, like many other rapidly urbanising countries, it has no national urban policy, no housing policy, and local planning is weak.
Local authorities and their partners can get research done on issues in their area, with the costs met from the EU's ESPON programme. Bids need to be in by 9 March 2015.
Here is a column I wrote in The Scottish Planner in 1997. It argued that there should be a tension between planning education and planning practice. What do you think today?
There will be another 2 billion people living in urban areas by 2030. With a billion people now living in slums,and over 100,000 homeless people in Delhi, for example, it is no exaggeration to say that this is a critical decade for cities and the practice of urban planning.