Last edited 21 Jan 2021


On 29 June 2015 The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) launched Planning4People, which it described as a 'radical new manifesto’ that seeks to put people back at the heart of planning and to emphasise social justice as a key outcome.

The two-page manifesto is part of a year-long collaboration between the TCPA and the Webb Memorial Trust.

  • The TCPA campaigns for reform of the UK’s planning system, working with those involved in the development industry, the environmental movement and social justice.
  • The Webb Memorial Trust was set up in 1944 as a memorial to Beatrice Webb, labour historian, social reformer, co-founder of the London School of Economics and part of the creation of the Fabian Society. It funds anti-poverty projects in the UK and aims to provide a better informed debate about poverty, its causes and solutions.

The manifesto suggests that whilst the planning system was originally intended to help provide good homes and healthy, thriving places, in the last few decades it has put economic growth above welfare. It proposes that the Government establish new national minimum standards for housing with mandatory minimum standards for accessibility and space.

It sets out a number of guiding principles for planning:

  • Democratic and fair with people at the heart of the process.
  • Guided by a powerful definition of sustainable development which emphasises social justice as a key outcome.
  • Powerful so it can regulate change.
  • Responsible, so that it meets the basic needs of those who struggle most today, without restricting the ability of future generations to live decent lives.

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.”

The report suggests that ‘Many of Europe's best cities already achieve these things, yet here in the UK we seem to have lost sight of this vision and to have given up on delivering better places.‘

It describes Planning4People as a coalition of organisations and individuals who share a common belief in the value of placemaking to achieve a just and sustainable future. Organisations and individuals were invited to sign up to support the manifesto.

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