Prize winning book by UWE experts takes lead on localism


Planning experts from the University of the West of England have been commended by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for the latest edition of the guide to Shaping Neighbourhoods – for local health and global sustainability.

The book, written by Professor Hugh Barton, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre, Marcus Grant, Deputy Director of the Centre and Visiting Research Fellow, Richard Guise, is the only comprehensive guide to neighbourhood planning and design, encompassing social, economic and environmental aspects. It has a special focus on health, climate change and inclusive decision processes. Neighbourhood, Parish and Town Councils will find it provides just what they need to engage with localism.

Professor Barton comments, \”We are all delighted to receive this recognition from the RTPI – it is the first time that any of us has entered a book for a prize so this is great news for the WHO collaborating Centre.

\”It\’s interesting that the government is now talking about the importance of producing plans at a neighbourhood level. Our book is bang on target in this respect but it has not emerged as a reaction to government policy, the thesis is based on fundamental principles of good planning, design quality and sound research. The WHO Centre has researched into neighbourhoods through a major Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) award, and developed the practical tools through consultancy, knowledge exchange and student projects.

The judges at the RTPI Awards highlighted a key feature of the book \”in focus, orientation and style, this book brings planning education and practice together and provides a model for other fields\”.

One reviewer has called it \”an important global iteration of best practice\”, a \”treasure trove\”, \”essential reading on how to deliver localism and the Big Society\”, and advises, \”the book presents planners with real knowledge of how to use the planning process to improve health and well-being of urban communities and should become an essential reference book for academics, planning students and practitioners\”.