Learn Globally, Apply Locally

SBK’s associate director and head of our planning and architecture department, Natasha Blackmore da Silva, explains more about the theme for this year’s World Town Planning Day.

This year’s theme for World Town Planning Day is Learn Globally, Apply Locally. The Day focuses on the value of learning from planning and planning cultures globally, fostering innovative, sustainable and equitable solutions to address global challenges.

So what is Innovation? As a basic definition Innovation means ‘the creation and use of new ideas or methods’. Technology is continuously evolving, and the means of communication have changed beyond recognition over the last 20 years.

Planning is not untouched by these recent technological innovations. GIS has emerged as a transformative technology forming the backbone of spatial planning. Remote sensing has facilitated a leap in the way past institutional short fallings are being negated.

Most recently, the advent of artificial intelligence heralds a change in the way planners will be shaping the future of our cities and country sides, how exactly is anyone’s guess.

So why is Fostering Innovation important? Innovation in planning is not equitable and technological innovation, and their application will need to be tailored to the highly specific context of different geographies and situations.

We need to continue to explore how technology is being used to help planners making a positive impact on an urbanising world, under the threat of climate change.

And now against the backdrop of the aftermath of Covid-19, wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, high inflation and economic downturn, fostering innovation which can promote equity and social justice is becoming a more prominent topic in planning.  

At Sheldon Bosley Knight, our award-winning in-house planning and architecture team is constantly learning, whether that’s regarding new or updated planning law, ideas, solutions to issues or embracing new technology.

We constantly strive to be innovative, work collaboratively with other departments both within the business and outside and are proud of our enviable record.

Preparing and submitting planning applications, working with case officers, local authorities and clients, offering planning advice and working with clients to achieve are all part of the job.

However, being able to make a difference for a client, whether it’s getting a much-needed extension for a family or securing approval for affordable homes is what we strive for. And while it’s not going to necessarily change the world, it will change someone’s life locally for the better.