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Planning sustainable communities - skills and learning to envision future communities : an introduction

Rogerson, Robert and Sadler, Sue and Wong, Cecilia and Green, Anne (2010) Planning sustainable communities - skills and learning to envision future communities : an introduction. Town Planning Review, 81 (5). pp. 505-522. ISSN 0041-0020

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The aspiration of creating sustainable communities has been an important part of the UK government’s agenda over the past decade. Under this, the role for planning and other professions involved in place making has changed, including expectations of greater consultation and involvement of communities in decision making. To date, most attention has been given to ensuring that planners are suitably skilled to undertake these new roles. Research conducted as part of an ESRC/HCA Initiative suggests that while opportunities have been provided for planners to acquire and reflect on their skills, more could be achieved by moving from a deficit, market-failure conception of skills needs to a 'strengths based' approach. As community engagement is enhanced under the banner of 'big society', this paper argues that significant questions require to be addressed over what sustainable communities are and the role planning professionals have in developing visions for such communities.