Last edited 03 Jul 2015

Town and Country Planning Association TCPA

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) campaigns for reform of the UK’s planning system to make it more responsive to people’s needs and aspirations and to promote sustainable development.

It is Britain's oldest charity concerned with planning, housing and the environment and was founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1899 to promote the idea of the Garden City. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Britain led the world as an industrial nation, but its cities had suffered through industrialisation and rapid growth, with bad housing and unhealthy conditions. Garden cities were intended to provide new settlements with a surrounding agricultural belt, that had the best features of both town and country.

The TCPA now works with those involved in the development industry, the environmental movement and social justice to:

  • Secure a decent, well-designed home for everyone, in a human-scale environment combining the best features of town and country.
  • Empower people and communities to influence decisions that affect them.
  • Improve the planning system in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

It advocates:

  • Fair shares in development and land value uplift.
  • Shared ownership of public open space.
  • Participative and entrepreneurial local governance.
  • Town and country planned together.
  • Enhancement of the environment.
  • The need to achieve sustainable communities.

An elected Board of Trustees is responsible for managing the TCPA and directing its policy and strategy objectives.

Membership of the TCPA can be individual, corporate or local authority. Corporate fellowship is also available by invitation from the Trustees.

In June 2015, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) launched Planning4People, which it described as a 'radical new manifesto’ to put people back at the heart of planning and emphasising social justice as a key outcome.

Speaking at the launch of the manifesto, TCPA Head of Policy, Dr Hugh Ellis, said: “We all care about the quality of our lives and condition of our communities. People need decent healthcare, schools, jobs, public transport, green spaces, locally grown food, low-carbon energy, affordable homes which are accessible and have enough space for kids to play, a creative culture, vibrant sports and the arts. These are all things that make life worth living. These are the things that all sections of society should be able to enjoy as a matter of course regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. These are the foundations of the good society. These are the things that planning can, and should, make happen.”

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