Strategic sites - douze points for RTPI in Liverpool
All the research suggests we’re living and working in completely different ways to how we ever did before. It’s certainly an exciting time to be delivering long-term strategic sites!
With all of this change, it is vital that we stop and reflect on how we are designing new communities to keep on top of the changes.
It was this aim that formed the basis of discussions at RTPI North West’s ‘Delivering Strategic Sites’ event, and where better to hold it than in Liverpool at the height of Eurovision fever!
It was great to hear from a range of technical disciplines about the challenges and opportunities that strategic sites present.
The presentations covered matters such as the future of transport and how we respond to the climate crisis, the importance of master-planning, and the role it can play in shaping better communities.
It was certainly encouraging to see the ambition within the sector for delivering exemplar communities. That said, it is clear that these ideas will only come to fruition if we can mobilise the silent majority to support them.
As people who work in development, we all appreciate the benefits that these sites can deliver. Generally, the same is true for planning officers and senior councillors.
What we need to remember is that for the rest of the community, things aren’t always so clear.
All of this boils down to effective communication and engagement. The significant benefits that strategic sites can deliver to local communities can get lost if this isn’t properly factored into the process at the early stages. When that happens, residents will often only see the number of homes proposed, rather than the new community facilities and infrastructure investment that these sites can deliver.
Tailoring messaging to the audience and proactively engaging with people as these sites come forward will ensure that the community are bought into the project.
After all, this is how we deliver sites that work for all parties.
Surely that is what we all should be striving for?