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How can we build capacity in planning in the Commonwealth?

Janet Strachan (Commonwealth Secretariat) hears about planning education in Ghana from Dr. Inkoom, while Dr. Lauence Carmichael from University of the West of England swops notes with Dr.Alias Abdullah of Malaysia's International Islamic University

The Maldive Islands: annual increase in urban population – 5.2%.; maximum height above sea level – 8 metres; rapidly growing tourist industry; four planners; no planning school.. Mozambique: annual increase in urban population 4.1%; proportion of urban population living in slums – over 90%; number of planning schools – 1. Basic facts like these hint at why planning education has become an important issue for the Commonwealth. What can we do to get planners with the right skills in the places where they are most urgently needed? Continue reading

Planning and Food Security

A crop diversification project in Zambia

A crop diversification project in Zambia. Plan International photo

Food security is an issue that is rapidly rising up the international agenda.

As a recent paper produced by the Commonwealth Association of Planners explains, the global consensus is that population and food prices are increasing, while access to food is decreasing.

Last August the RTPI released a policy statement on Planning for Food, and then took a leading role in an on-line discussion of the topic on World Town Planning Day last November.

The American Planning Association has also issued policy guidance on “Community and Regional Food Planning” ,and as my blog last week showed, food was a key concern of “tweeters” at last month’s APA annual conference.   So should food security become a key consideration in the practice of planning across the globe? Continue reading