RTPI urges ‘new approach’ to Scottish infrastructure funding

THE Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland is urging a new approach to infrastructure, based on long-term factors beyond the economy.

It its written response to a call for evidence from the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland (ICS), RTPI Scotland called for the ICS to be ‘more ambitious and comprehensive’ in order to bring about a transformational shift in how the nation delivers current and future infrastructure.

According to RTPI Scotland there is a ‘pressing need’ to change how infrastructure in Scotland is assessed, funded and delivered and that planners should be brought into the heart of the process. It also warned that integrated infrastructure activity will not occur without an adequately resourced planning system.

Craig McLaren, director of RTPI Scotland and Ireland commented, “If Scotland is to achieve its new zero carbon targets, we need to ensure that decisions on funding infrastructure consider social and environmental needs as well as economic growth. We need to make sure that we look to the longer-term challenges rather than quick fixes. And we have to use infrastructure proactively to stimulate regeneration and development.

“Planning holds the key to delivering and coordinating this and should be seen as essential preventative spend, allowing us to unlock maximum for communities and the environment while optimising economic investment.”

RTPI Scotland’s response comes ahead of its publication of research into integrated infrastructure planning.