Town Planning Review

Raising the standard: Design skills for practising planners

Town Planning Review (2006), 77, (5), 605–624.

Abstract

Urban design's current position near the top of national policy agendas brings with it the recognition of a skills gap among practising planners. This paper addresses the urban design knowledge and skills required by planners and sets out methods to develop them, based on experiential learning theory, applied in a longitudinal case study of East Lothian Council in Scotland. Urban design training was delivered to all professional staff in the planning service in two blocks of six days over a period of three years, allowing a study of its effectiveness in influencing strategic activity and daily tasks. The evaluation confirms the difficult and complex role of planners in ensuring quality, and highlights the importance of skills development through deep learning involving as many members of staff as possible.

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Author details

Higgins, Marilyn

Forsyth, Leslie