World Town Planning Day School Competition: future Planners present their regeneration plans

13 Jan 2021

The World Town Planning Day 2020 School Competition took place last month, providing UK secondary school students with the opportunity to pitch a regeneration proposal for their local area.


Abraham Laker, Senior Associate Director at RPS, was asked to join the judging panel for the competition. The theme focused on the RTPI #PlanTheWorldWeNeed campaign; aiming to highlight the role of planners in reviving the economy, tackle inequality and meet net zero targets by 2050.

This national competition inspires students to look at their local environment, scrutinise the decisions that impact it and devise masterplans. It also introduces them to a career in town planning, with excellent job prospects and a chance to make a difference.

COVID-19 has emphasised the strengths and weaknesses of our places and lifestyles and the necessity to plan a sustainable place-based recovery. In light of this, the competition asked secondary school teachers to identify a local area and ask their students: how do you think this area should change? What issues must your council planning department address to set this in motion?

Students were tasked with pitching a regeneration plan for the area, using supporting maps, data and research to articulate their vision for the future of the area. The judges scored these plans based on the students’ research and communication skills, creativity, and understanding of the role of planners.

Abraham comments: “This year’s competition demonstrated how younger members of society are taking a keen interest in their local areas and communities. In particular, what changes can be implemented to address existing deprivation and shape the built environment to promote sustainable developments and improve individual’s quality of life.”

Prizes will be awarded to both 11-15 and 16-18 age categories. The judges’ results have been returned to the RTPI and are currently being tallied. Good luck to all the entrants!


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