The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is working with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) to develop a climate resilience policy for the city region’s 1.6 million residents
The policy is to be incorporated in the city region’s emerging Spatial Development Strategy (SDS), will have legal weight and will join up housing, transport, green space and other planning policy across the whole region to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The RTPI and the Combined Authority will work with Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral councils, alongside experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester to pinpoint specific issues as well as the needs of the whole Liverpool City Region.
The project is driven by the concept of ‘climate justice’ and puts fairness, equality and inclusion at the heart of the city region’s response to climate change.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “In my election manifesto I pledged to ensure, wherever possible, that new developments are built in the right places and to safeguard the future of our environment. This important work is key to fulfilling that promise.
“Climate change is the biggest challenge we face not just as a city region but as a society. We are the first city region in the country to work in this collaborative way with a national planning body on this globally significant issue. This work will help us understand how we can build climate change resilience into our future plans.”
Victoria Hills, RTPI Chief Executive, said: “We know that some of our most vulnerable communities will bear the brunt of climate change’s impacts over the coming decades. Broad national and international climate change policies are not enough by themselves to address this; city-level plans that build communities’ resilience according to unique characteristics of places in which they live will be crucial.
“In collaborating with one of the most forward-looking combined authorities on this pilot, we see an integrated approach to planning for climate change that supports the wider vision of an area.”
Once the SDS is published, future decisions on planning applications would need to take its policies into account, including those relating to climate change resilience. This will help push up standards and safeguard the city region against the effects of rising sea levels, increasing flooding and extreme weather events, and a range of other threats.
The work will feed into guidance the RTPI is producing for other organisations wishing to take a socially progressive and pragmatic approach to strategic planning for climate change.