World Planning Day

On Sunday 8th November planners and communities across the world will come together (virtually) and celebrate the improvements planning brings to the lives of people and society. In short, celebrating creating places to live, work and play together.

The Royal Town Planning Institute will celebrate its 71st World Planning Day this year, celebrating across 30 countries in total. With two town planners at Sheldon Bosley Knight, we thought this would be the perfect excuse to celebrate them and all that they do.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what it is that a town planner does and how they improve the society we live in. Town planning in short is the profession that decides how land should be used and protected. The role of a town planner is to organise, design and make decisions on where new homes, roads, schools, shops and other things that we need in society to live and work should be built. At the same time, it’s down to town planners to make sure that the towns, cities and countryside we live in are safe, attractive and environmentally friendly.

Why is town planning important?

You may have thought about the kind of buildings that would be good in your local area; homes, offices, shops, schools, hospitals, maybe even a railway? But where should they go? Professionally, planning balances the social, economic and environmental needs of rural and urban areas.

Thousands of years ago when the first settlements were built, solutions to ‘planning’ issues were around, so as the population grew and humans developed systems for making decisions; a set of planning rules emerged to manage the demands of different uses of land.

Planning is integral to setting out new buildings and streets, improving public health and living conditions, containing sprawl that may arise from designing new settlements, tackling a housing crisis and tackling action on climate change.

What does a town planner do?

A town planner first and foremost helps communities, companies and politicians decide on the best use for land and buildings. The main aim of a planner is to achieve sustainability, by balancing different social, environment and economic issues. A simple way to describe a planners job is ‘making places’, such as towns, for people to live and work in.

Planners recommend where buildings should be built and how rather than constructing them, and how they then fit into their local surroundings. Working alongside construction professionals and the local community, and politicians, a town planner is influential when it comes rural and urban construction.

Planners can work for various types of organisations; public, private or voluntary. Becoming a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute means a planner is fully qualified and is the hallmark of professional expertise and integrity.


As you can see a town planner is a highly respected profession and is cemented in the world we live in today. To celebrate World Town Planning Day this year we asked our town planner, Natasha Blackmore da Silva MRTPI what being a Chartered Town Planner means to her.

“People are the central component which drives town planning. It can be a technical process, but really does touch people’s lives. As a Town Planner my goal is to help create homes not houses, places for people to live, work and enjoy rather than spaces which simply exist. As a Chartered Town Planner I am in a position to make that happen”.