Pre 2016 News:
00 Oct 2015
SDG's - CHOGM Opinion Piece
08 Dec 2015
CAP Achieves Success at CHOGM
04 Dec 2015
CAP Attends Royal Reception
00 Jul 2015
Meet your new President
26 Jul 2014
Final Paper - Food Security
18 Dec 2013
CAP Stands up for Planning at CHOGM
A report from Clive Harridge
18 Dec 2013
CAP Seminar at Commonwealth People's Forum
Report by Clive Harridge
08 Jan 2013
Women's safety in India
The death of the 23-year old physiotherapy student after she was gang raped on a New Delhi bus has commanded headlines around the world. This appalling and tragic event has focused attention on the failures of the Indian authorities, and Indian society more generally, to tackle long standing problems of sexual assault and harassment.
14 Jan 2013
International Conference on Building Resilience
The Centre for Disaster Resilience, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK and RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia are organising the next event in the series of 'Building Resilience' International Conferences. The conference will be held at Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka from 17th-19th September 2013.
Further details are available on the conference website at www.buildresilience.org
20 Dec 2012
Development and Planning in Cyprus
Read about the development challenges facing this part of Europe on Cliff Hague's blog at cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
07 Nov 2012
Our Commonwealth Urban Future
Read about some of the issues discussed at the CAP 40th Anniversary Workshop on Cliff Hague's blog at cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
22 Nov 2012
CAP WUF 6 Report from CAP Attendees
Please find attached the CAP WUF 6 Report from CAP Attendees.
09 Nov 2012
Contribute to Planning Theory and Research
Planning Theory and Practice has recently re-launched its reviews section, and the editors are inviting contributions to three different types of articles.
Read More ...
27 Sep 2012
Manifesto for Cities
The Manifesto for Cities is an initiative of the World Urban Campaign and was launched at the World Urban Forum (WUF 6) in Naples.
To read the Manifesto click here.
18 Sep 2012
World Habitat Awards 2013
The Building and Social Housing Foundation is now accepting entries for the 2013 edition of the World Habitat Awards. All entries must be received by 1st November 2012.
Further details and an online entry form are available at www.worldhabitatawards.org
24 Aug 2012
Building Resilient Cities - What do we mean by resilience?
ResilientCity.org, an 'open, not-for-profit network of urban planners, architects, designers, engineers, and landscape architects' sees resilience as a concept to help communities and cities to cope with 'the future shocks and stresses associated with climate change, environmental degradation, resource shortages, in the context of global population growth'.
Read more about this on Cliff Hague's blog at cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
30 Jul 2012
Urban World: Cities and the rise of the Consuming Class
Income growth in rapidly urbanising countries is shaping the future of their cities. Cliff Hague's blog on the Planning website reviews a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute. It predicts that residential floorspace equivalent to the area of The Netherlands will be constructed in cities between 2010 and 2025. As Cliff notes, the report emphasises not just the growth of the urban population in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but also the significance of income growth amongst urban households in these continents, and how this will impact on cities and natural resources. The report makes a strong case for the importance of urban planning as a strategic activity with horizons beyond the next election.
Read Cliff's blog at cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
30 Jul 2012
Urban Change in Sub-Saharan Africa
Paul Jenkins and Jorgen Eskemose Andersen have recently completed a 3 year international, multi-disciplinary research programme entitled 'Home Space in African Cities' - funded by the Danish Council for Independent Reserach (2009-12).
The relevant reports, background and other related material are all now on-line at www.homespace.dk
03 Jul 2012
Rio + 20
Rio + 20 - governments fail to lead on sustainable development.
Read more about this on cliff Hague's blog at cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
14 May 2012
Commonwealth Foundation Leadership Exchange 2012
The 2012 Leadership Exchange will centre on 'Stakeholder Engagement for Influencing Policy'. It will take place from 16-20 July 2012. Deadline for applications is 20 May.
The Exchange is open to civil society leaders and emerging leaders, who are currently engaged in national and international policy development and implementation activities, and who are current working in Commonwealth member states in the Asia, Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific regions. Applicants must demonstate outstanding capabilities and experience from a wide variety of backgrounds and high level of professional achievement.
For more information see the website at www.commonwealthfoundation.com
16 Apr 2012
Challenges of urbanisation and secondary cities discussed KARACHI, March 31:
Scholars, town-planners and architects spoke in detail on the form, trends, potentials and challenges of urbanisation and secondary cities at the 7th seminar on 'Urban and regional planning' organised by the department of architecture and planning of the NED University of Engineering and Technology.
The link to the Karachi NED Keynote is www.dawn.com
20 Feb 2012
Urbanisation Challenges in the Maldives
Cliff Hague has a blog about urbanisation challenges in the Maldives which highlights the situation in many Commonwealth small island states, it can be accessed on cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
15 Feb 2012
2012 EAROPH World Congress
The Eastern Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH) will be hosting its 23rd World Congress in Daegu, Korea from 17th - 19th October 2012. The theme for this year's event is 'Green City for Human Betterment'.
For more information please visit the conference website www.earoph2012.or.kr
07 Feb 2011
Managing urbanisation in Small States
Cliff Hague's article on 'Managing urbanisation in Small States' was published by Commonwealth Secretariat in Small States Diges, it can be viewed online at www.thecommonwealth.org
22 Dec 2011
World Urban Forum (WUF6)
The Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF6) will take place in the ancient southern Italian city of Naples - Italy, from 1 to 7 September 2012 under the theme THE URBAN FUTURE. UN-Habitat joins the Government of Italy, the Campania Region and the City of Naples in warmly welcoming you to attend and participate in the Forum.
Look out for more information at the Forum website www.unhabitat.org
21 Dec 2011
Caribbean Urban Forum 14-17 March 2012
The Jamaica Institute of Planners, and the Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management, in partnership with the University of Technology, Jamaica, are pleased to announce the International Call for Papers for the 2nd Caribbean Urban Forum 2012: Planning to achieve the vision...towards a Green Urban Economy (CUF2012).
For more information see the website at www.bluespacecaribbean.com
24 Nov 2011
State of the Australian Cities
Cliff Hagues's latest World View blog is about the Australian State of the Cities Study. The blog can be read on cliffhague.planningresource.co.uk
07 Nov 2011
CAP calls on CHOGM to take Urgent Action on Cities
At the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) held in Perth in October, CAP put forward powerful messages on the need for urgent action to address the growing urban crisis in the Commonwealth.
At the Commonwealth People's Forum held immediately prior to CHOGM, CAPs Secretary-General Clive Harridge spoke of the need for new approaches to urban policy to tackle the rapid rates of urbanisation, the growth in non-communicable diseases and the threats to food security. Dyan Currie, President of the Planning Institute of Australia, brought messages from CAP's Sate of the Commonwealth Cities Symposium held in Brisbane which called for new policy approaches for cities to help overcome poverty, bring economic stability and achieve sustainable growth (see separate item on What's New page).
Attending CHOGM provides an unparalleled opportunity for civil society to engage directly with Governments. CAP attended a round table meeting with over 40 Foreign Ministers including Kevin Rudd from Australia and William Hague from the UK. CAP President Christine Platt addressed the Ministers and argued powerfully for a Commonwealth Urban Agenda to be a standing agenda item for CHOGM. Christine stated that an effective urban agenda would:
- Make adequate land and infrastructure available for new urban development
- Support local economic development as a contributor to national wealth creation.
- Ensure climate change is addressed especially where concentrations of people are at greatest risk
- Build urban wealth through affordable land and legal title.
During CHOGM three documents prepared by CAP were presented to Heads of Government delegations:
- Statement to Heads of Government on the Urban Crisis available here
- Communiqué from the Health in the City Workshop in London (see separate What's New item)
- Communiqué from CAP's State of the Commonwealth Cities Symposium in Brisbane (see separate What's New item)
26 Oct 2011
State of Commonwealth Cities Symposium, Brisbane
Planners attending the State of Commonwealth Cities Symposium in Brisbane on 20-21 October have issued a Communiqué to the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Perth in the lead up to CHOGM. Planning Institute of Australia President Dyan Currie and Commonwealth Association of Planners President Christine Platt are attending to deliver the message that the Commonwealth must pursue an Urban Agenda.
View the Communiqué
22 Oct 2011
Health in the City Workshop
An Expert Group Workshop involving over 35 leading planning, health and built environment professionals was convened at Marlborough House in London on Wednesday 28 September 2011 to discuss one of the most urgent challenges facing the Commonwealth: non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The workshop was led by the Commonwealth Association of Planners, the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance and the Built Environment Professionals in the Commonwealth.
The workshop was held against the background of the Commonwealth Statement on Action to Combat NCDs and the Port of Spain Communiqué. With a range of expert speakers (including CAP's President Christine Platt) and attendees the workshop examined the challenges of creating healthy urban environments and looked to form policy recommendations for Commonwealth Governments. For further information about the workshop click here. For the presentations at the workshop click here.
The workshop concluded with a Communiqué including a Call for Action by CHOGM and individual Governments to help tackle NCDs and
improve health and well-being in Commonwealth cities. To read the Communiqué click here.
CAPs Secretary-General, Clive Harridge who chaired part of the workshop, identified the need for urgent action and said: “The rapidly growing incidence of NCDs is prevalent across the whole of the Commonwealth impacting on the lives and life expectancy of millions. Urgent action is necessary now. The Commonwealth Association of Planners working with the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance and others is committed to using its expertise, networks and resources to support Commonwealth Governments in developing effective policy approaches and initiatives to address these critical issues. We call on Commonwealth Heads of Government at their forthcoming meeting in Perth to give their full support to the urgent actions necessary to tackle NCDs.”
07 Oct 2011
Young Planners Essay Competition – Winners Announced
CAP’s Young Planners’ Network had an excellent response to its Essay Competition with over 30 entries submitted from 10 Commonwealth countries. The essays gave different perspectives on the 2011 CHOGM theme of “Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience”.
The overall winner of the Competition was SONYA BAIRD from New Zealand Sonya’s essay highlights the key skills that planners have and how these can be used to contribute to disaster recovery; the essay drew on experience from the earthquake disaster in New Zealand earlier this year. To read Sonya’s essay click here.
The runner up winner was ELMARI MARAIS from South Africa. Elmari is a Senior Planner with the City of Cape Town and her essay commented on the role of planners in achieving more resilient communities; the essay drew on experience of informal settlements in Cape Town. To read Elmari’s essay click here.
As the winners of the competition, Sonya and Elmari will be attend the forthcoming CAP Conference in Brisbane towards the end of October.
CAP’s Secretary-General Clive Harridge commented:
“The standard of essays was extremely high making my judging of the competition an extremely difficult task. My congratulations go to all of the entrants for submitting such excellent work. The competition has helped raise the profile of CAP’s young planners and provides an excellent basis for the further development of the Young Planners’ Network. Finally I wish to thank the Commonwealth Foundation for its sponsorship of the competition.”
20 Sep 2011
State of Commonwealth Cities Symposium
CAP and PIA (Planning Institute of Australia) will be hosting the State of Commonwealth Cities Symposium in Brisbane on 20-21 October 2011 as a lead up event to the CHOGM 2011 in Perth, Australia. Come and enjoy the insightful discussions at this event which will include speakers from across Australia and throughout the Commonwealth.
All members of CAP and their respective constituents are invited to attend. We are looking for a fantastic turn out from our neighbours near or far, in particular our members from the Asia Pacific Region. Registration now open at
23 Aug 2011
Young Planners’ Network Essay Competition
The Commonwealth Association of Planners is hosting an essay competition supporting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in October 2011.
Funding will provide successful entrant(s) attendance at the ‘State of the Commonwealth Cities Symposium’ conference on October 20-21 2011, in Brisbane, Australia ahead of CHOGM.
Download Competition Brief
18 Aug 2011
State of South Africa's Cities
Cliff Hague's latest World View blog looks at the recent report on the State of South Africa's Cities. The blog can be read on
15 Aug 2011
Commonwealth Local Government Forum
The Commonwealth Local Government Conference 2011 conference report is now available.
For more information go to CLGF web site www.clgf.org.uk
10 Aug 2011
Bangladesh to set up Urban Data cell
There are reports from Bangladesh that the Bangladesh Institute of Planners is to set up an urban data cell. This project will be funded by the German Development Corporation (GIZ). This will make available on one site all urban data about the country. This report comes from Mehedi Ahsan and is posted as a Comment on Cliff Hague's blog about planning in Bangladesh, which has become a focus for much discussion amongst Bangladeshis about how to modernise planning in their country.
To read this go to www.CliffHague.wordpress.com
10 Aug 2011
Blog on the Work of Planners in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya
Cliff Hague's latest World View blog is about the work of two young Commonwealth planners. Jeremiah Atho Ougo and George Wesonga Auma are part of a team of planners, land surveyors and engineers who are working on the extension of the world's largest refugee camp, about 80 kms from the Kenyan border with Somalia. Jeremiah and George submitted an essay on their work to the competition that CAP ran in 2010 to set up the CAP Young Planners' Network. They were one of the winners.
The blog can be read on www.CliffHague.wordpress.com
20 Jul 2011
Habitat Professionals Forum, Statement by Ms Christine Platt
On behalf of the Habitat Professionals Forum Partner's Dialogue at 23rd UN-HABITAT Governing Council
"In plenary dialogue at GC 22 Chairman of HPF made a presentation which outlined the purpose of HPF, which is a network which represents in excess of 6 million Human Settlement professionals who together constitute a key partner in delivering the Habitat agenda. Yesterday HPF met again and adopted the Habitat Professionals Forum Charter "The role of human settlement professionals in delivering a sustainable and equitable future". It has agreed to make the following call to the UN-HABITAT member states and partners.
The theme of this plenary session is "Sustainable and ethic urban development through expanding equitable access to land, housing, basic services and infrastructure". Never before has the world faced such an urgent need to acknowledge the reality of this statement and for evidence lead policy making to be put in place to deal with the complexities it generates.
Equitable access to land, which has a major gender dimension, housing, basic services and infrastructure are key deliverables in addressing sustainable urbanization. They are each key areas where a practical difference can be made. We welcome the call made by the ED to take a new positive view of the way forward. Getting our cities right is the key to social progress, economic development and the reduction of both urban and rural poverty. This plenary dialogue must therefore be seen in the context of a very difficult and complex set of challenges which requires global collective action.
The HPF therefore calls on the UN-HABITAT member states and partners to acknowledge the urgency of addressing the urban agenda and to work with one another, with local governments and with other key Habitat partners, particularly the 6 million human settlements professionals who are specialists in these fields. Together we can produce the evidence-lead policy which can produce the positive responses we need and which is the only hope we have of delivering the sustainable urbanization we so urgently seek. If we fail to act now, the consequences will affect people all over the world and nobody will be immune from the impacts of failure. HPF welcomes proposals to formalize the participation of UN-HABITAT partners, including the professionals, in the governance structure of UN-HABITAT.
The HPF stands ready to play whatever role is asked of us."
05 Jul 2011
Regional and Local Economic Development
A new book by CAP Past President Cliff Hague looks at practice-led economic development across the globe. 'Regional and Local Economic Development' is written for practitioners and for use as a teaching text. It is clear and easy to follow but also offers insights into the aims and effects of policy. It includes chapters on environment, transport, housing, land and premises, business development, retailing, tourism, and skills.
For more details click on link below or look for it on the websites of bookstores or other on-line book sellers - www.palgrave.com
05 Jul 2011
How can we build capacity in planning in the Commonwealth?
A report on the Commonwealth Planning Education workshop held on 3 July in Perth Western Australia is available on Cliff Hague's blog at cliffhague.wordpress.com
29 Jun 2011
CAP Young Planners' Network Co-ordinator Appointed
Alexander O'Reilly has been appointed by the CAP Executive as Co-ordinator of the Young Planners' Network. Alex graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning from Australia's Queensland University of Technology and he is currently working for Murray Associates as a town planning consultant. In 2010 Alex was joint winner of CAP's Young Planners' essay competition – his winning essay is included in the latest edition of CAP News.
On taking up his new role Alex said: "I am extremely honoured to represent the Commonwealth's young planners and take on the responsibilities which the CAP Executive has entrusted to me. I will support CAP's young planners and act as a springboard for their ideas and aspirations".
In congratulating Alex on his appointment Secretary-General Clive Harridge said: "CAP's Young Planners' Network has a major role in connecting young planners from across the Commonwealth. Alex takes over from Brooke Yates who performed a great job in helping establish the Network last year. Alex is an excellent appointment and his professional approach combined with his tremendous enthusiasm will be a great asset in driving forward the Young Planners' Network".
24 May 2011
CAP Elects Vice President (Europe)
Ann Skippers has been elected as CAP Vice President (Europe) by CAPs Executive Committee.
Clive Harridge CAPs Secretary-General said: "I am delighted that Ann has been elected to the Vice President position. Ann brings tremendous enthusiasm to the post and she will be a great asset in helping CAP progress our exciting range of activities and events addressing the challenging planning issues facing the Commonwealth".
Ann has a background in local government in England and was President of the UK’s Royal Town Planning Institute in 2010. Ann is currently Director of the consultancy "Charisma Spatial Planning Ltd" and Vice Chair of the RTPI’s International Committee.
On taking up her appointment Ann said:
"It's a great privilege for me to be elected as Vice President and to have the opportunity of working alongside a very committed group of people around the world. I'm looking forward to taking on a new and exciting challenge."
24 May 2011
Professional accreditation of planning programmes in the Commonwealth
A report to the Commonwealth Foundation March 2011
05 May 2011
Planning and Food Security
Cliff Hague's World View blog this week looks at the recent CAP Discussion Paper on Planning and Food Security. You can read this blog by clicking here.
08 Apr 2011
Commonwealth Secretariat Natural Resources Forum
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma told delegates at the launch of the first Commonwealth Natural Resources Forum that the proper management of natural resources could make or break a country's development. Read more on the Commonwealth Secretariat's website at
21 Mar 2011
CLIFF - Call for New Partners
Homeless International has launched the search for new organisations to become implementing partners of the Community-Led Infrastructure Finance Facility (CLIFF). CLIFF enables civil society organisations to access greater public, private and civil society sector resources to deliver adequate land, housing and basic services for slum dwellers. The deadline for applications is Sunday 10th April 2011. Contact details for Homeless International are available on their website at
18 Mar 2011
At the Commonwealth Lecture in London, Mrs Sonia Gandhi called for women's voices and concerns to be heard in the global climate change debate, to 'help the world find a more sustainable and less consumerist path to development'.
'Among all the challenges facing humankind in the 21st Century, few are more pressing than climate change and global warming. Unfortunately... most of the climate debate has so far been gender-blind. Yet women have played a special role in raising environmental consciousness... Indira Gandhi herself... in 1972, powerfully expressed the link between poverty and environmental degradation, an issue which continues to shape the current debate.'
Mrs Gandhi also reminded the Commonwealth that 'investing in women is the highest-return venture', and said that 'if urbanisation is the world's future, we must design urban environments and services in ways that will give women greater security'.
Mrs Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress Party and Chair of the United Progressive Alliance, was discussing the 2011 Commonwealth theme, 'Women as Agents of Change'.
15 Mar 2011
Town Planning and Planners in Bangladesh
By 2030, one in every two urban residents in the world will be in Asia. Read more on Cliff Hague's blog
09 Mar 2011
UK drops UN-Habitat and warns Commonwealth Secretariat
The UK’s Department for International Development is planning to withdraw its financial support from UN-Habitat and from the UN’s International Strategy for Disasters Reduction. It has also warned that in two years time funds may also be withdrawn from the Commonwealth Secretariat. See Cliff Hague’s blog onwww.CliffHague.wordpress.com, which argues that DFID has failed to make the connection between urbanisation and poverty reduction.
For ComSec’s response to DFID click here.
02 Mar 2011
Planning and Food Security within the Commonwealth – Discussion Paper
This discussion paper addresses one of the most serious challenges facing Commonwealth countries. Access to food is a basic human need but unfortunately that human need is not being met in many areas. Planning has a significant role to play in addressing threats to food security but this is not a topic that is currently featuring strongly in planning practice. This must change. Food security is recognised as a major issue at the highest levels of Government and was a topic discussed at the last CHOGM in Trinidad and Tobago (November 2009) where Heads of Government expressed their deep concern about world food security. The Discussion Paper together with its Call for Action will be highly valuable in raising awareness and understanding of planning and food security challenges across the Commonwealth. CAP is very grateful for the valuable work of Professor Wayne Caldwell, Anneliza Collett, Therese Ludlow, Ian Sinclair and Jenny Whitehead in preparing this discussion paper on one of the most serious challenges facing Commonwealth countries.
25 Feb 2011
Message of Support to the New Zealand Planning Institute
Clive Harridge, CAP's Secretary-General, has sent the following message of support to planning colleagues in New Zealand: It was with great sorrow that we in CAP heard about the earthquake last week and its devastating impact on Christchurch. The sad loss of life and the scenes we are seeing daily on our TVs are tragic . The citizens of Christchurch and New Zealand including our fellow planning professionals are all in our thoughts at this most difficult of times. We wish you all much courage and strength. If there is anything at all that CAP can do to assist then please do not hesitate to contact us straightaway.
For an update see www.planning.org.nz
24 Feb 2011
Planners from Nigeria are currently on a technical study visit to Singapore. This example of the global South learning from the global South is the result of two CAP Vice-Presidents sharing a vision and putting it into practice. Dr. Belinda Yuen, Vice-President (South-East Asia) worked with Kabir Yari, who is President of Nigerian Institute of Planners and CAP's West Africa Vice-President. During their 5 day visit the 37-strong Nigerian delegation will tap into Singapore's know-how on city management, development management and energy planning. Singapore's expertise in city planning has been a significant factor in making it a leading Asia city.
For more see www.guardiannewsngr.com
22 Feb 2011
New Blog on the Planning Website
Cliff Hague, a Past President of CAP, discusses the RTPI President's special award to CAP and CAP's current survey of planning programme accreditation on his new blog.
You can read it at www.cliffhague.wordpress.com
22 Feb 2011
Gnarly Planning: Some Tools for Local and Global Action
Dr Jane Stanley has written a manual on what she has termed 'Gnarly Planning', responding to the calls for a reinvention of the planning discipline. This examines grassroots planning in a transnational context, drawing on case studies from Jane's previous work in the shanty towns of Ghana, tenement rehabilitation in Glasgow, barangay improvements for the 'poorest of the poor' in the Phillipines, working with traditional land owners to protect the forests of Papua new Guinea, and development within remote Aboriginal communities of Australia.
The skills which Jane promotes involve an integration of environmental, social, economic and cultural planning, driven by considerations of local culture. The emphasis is on highly practical ways of grassroots engagement and participatory planning, and there is some consideration of how the conventional 'western' ways of doing things often obstruct achievement on the ground.
'Gnarly Planning' presents a toolkit for planners who are concerned about making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Its target audience is planning students as well as practicing planners who want to re-examine the way they contribute to the greater good. Interspersed through this highly practical manual is a personal story of learning and surviving, much of it set in West Africa, but venturing into other far flung parts of the world. It doesn't pretend to provide all the answers, but as the book explains, if you can ask the right questions you are well on the way.
Internet publication on www.gnarlyplanning.com
10 Feb 2011
Commonwealth Association of Planners wins prestigious RTPI President's Special Award
The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) has been awarded the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) President's Special Award for Planning Achievement. The Award was given by immediate Past President Ann Skippers at the Institute's awards lunch at London's Hilton Hotel.
In giving the award Ann Skippers said:
"For forty years CAP has promoted planning around the world. It has influenced the way people and governments think about planning. It has focused on rapid urbanisation and poverty firmly believing that sustainable development will simply just not happen without proper planning. CAP connects people all over the Commonwealth through its volunteers and its networks. In recognition of what can be achieved through outstanding cooperation, determination and goodwill, it is my very great privilege and pleasure to award CAP the President's Special Award for Planning Achievement."
Clive Harridge, CAP's Secretary General said:
"It is a great honour for CAP to have been given this Award. The Award reflects the tremendous work CAP has undertaken over many years in the advancement of planning throughout the Commonwealth. CAP's achievements would not have been possible without the excellent support received from the Commonwealth Foundation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Royal Town Planning Institute and others for which we are very grateful. The Award acknowledges the work of the many people across the Commonwealth who have helped CAP over many years and who have dedicated substantial amounts of their time on a voluntary basis to support its work.
The attached photographs show members of CAP receiving the Award from RTPI Past President, Ann Skippers at the Awards Lunch at the London Hilton Hotel.
20 Dec 2010
Town and Country Planning Association
The Town and Country Planning Association has launched the first online database of international best practice case studies on climate change adaptation. It is part of 'Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco Towns' (GRaBS), an EU project that the TCPA is involved in. This free database, developed by the University of Manchester, focuses on examples relating to green and blue infrastructure, considering in detail the processes that have supported the implementation of adaptation responses in a range of urban areas across the world.
For more information go to www.grabs-eu.org
26 Nov 2010
University of Johannesburg e-Newsletter
The Department of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Johannesburg is producing a regular newsletter that may be of interest to CAP members.
It can be accessed at www.uj.ac.za
25 Nov 2010
The State of African Citities 2010
'As the world reviews its performance to date on the Millennium Development Goals, and with less than five years to run, evidence shows that effective urban planning and sustainable cities can make a critical contribution.' This message from Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP, is a key theme in the report on 'The State of African Cities 2010' that was published this week.
The headline figure that most of the mainstream media picked up on is that Africa's population now exceeds 1 billion. However, it is the messages about urban growth and the need for effective planning that governments and Commonwealth bodies need to heed. Currently 395 million (almost 40%) live in urban areas. That number is expected to triple to reach 1.23 billion by 2050. While there has been some progress in slum reduction in North Africa, the situation in sub-Saharan Africa remains serious. As the report comments, 'Urban slums are one of the major threats to African urban stability and, by extension, to overall political stability'. The report highlights the growth of urban regions and development corridors and argues that reforms to make possible 'holistic, area-wide planning' is essential. The real risks of acute urban food and water shortages are highlighted, along with the key role that the cities will have in adaptation, mitigation and protection in the context of climate change.
The report echoes many of the themes developed in CAP's work on 'Making Planning Work' and on The State of Commonwealth Cities. It argues that 'A people-centred perspective highlights the need for more appropriate, realistic planning and building regulations that are affordable to the urban poor and that facilitate, rather than restrict, sustainable livelihoods. In other words, spatial planning and development control should focus less on impractical planning theory and imported notions of urban aesthetics or unattainable regulatory standards. Instead, they should embrace standards that reflect the needs of public authorities and the population, as well as current institutional capacities'.
The report can be downloaded without charge from www.unhabitat.org
07 Oct 2010
CAP Launches Young Planners Network in Montreal
Brooke Yates from the Planning Institute of Australia is the Convenor of the CAP Young Planners' Network. The Network was launched in Montreal when CAP President Christine Platt announced the winners of the inaugural essay competition. The winners were Jeremiah Atho Ougo and George Wesonga Auma from the Kenya Institute of Planners for their essay on their work in the huge Dadaab refugee camp in north-east Kenya; Alex O'Reilly from the Planning Institute of Australia for his essay on how the Network could contribute to sustainable urbanisation; and Jaya Ramlall from the Trinidad and Tobago Society of Planners for writing about how the Network can help make planners more gender aware. CAP congratulates the winners and thanks the many other young planners from across the Commonwealth who contributed high quality entries. CAP thanks the Commonwealth Foundation for its support in the creation of the Young Planners' Network.
CAP President Christine Platt said 'Half the people in the Commonwealth are under 25. These young people are not just the future - they are the present. In launching the Young Planners' Network CAP is seeking to bring the voice of the new generation into the work of CAP, while also making planning students and young professionals aware of the Commonwealth's values and the work that CAP is doing on re-inventing planning, gender, the state of the Commonwealth cities, food security and capacity-building'.
07 Sep 2010
Scoping the State of the Commonwealth Cities
CAP's work on the scoping the State of the Commonwealth's Cities has now been electronically published. 'Urban Challenges: Scoping the State of the Commonwealth Cities' (2010) can be downloaded from
27 Jul 2010
Launch of CAP Young Planners' Network: Competition
The Commonwealth Association of Planners is to launch a Young Planners' Network at its Biennial Business Meeting to be held in Montreal on 1 October 2010 ahead of the Canadian Institute of Planners Conference.
It is our intention to launch this network by holding a competition with the winning entrants attending the Montreal business meeting and conference. We gratefully acknowledge the Commonwealth Foundation funding that has been made available for this. The deadline for entries is Monday 16th August 2010.
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
22 Jun 2010
The State of the Cities
Why, and how, the Commonwealth must address the challenge of sustainable urbanisation. Expert analysis: Sick Cities?
Professor Cliff Hague, in his paper warns of the risks of failing to address urbanisation.
22 Jun 2010
Port of Spain Civil Society Statement
The online version of the Port of Spain Civil Society Statement to the 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is availalble here.
23 Mar 2010
Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance
A Special Edition of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance has been published and can be viewed at the link below.
The issue focuses on proceedings and outputs of the Commonwealth Local Government Conference, Bahamas May 2009. It features: Peer-reviewed research presented to the conference; Background and Working group papers; and Commentaries.
27 Jan 2010
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
The Commonwealth Heads of Government formally recognised the importance of urban development in the Communiqué from their meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. Paragraph 74 of the Communiqué states:
74: Heads recognised that rapid urbanisation was posing a significant challenge in many Commonwealth countries, and that new and inclusive approaches to urban planning and management were central to achieving the MDGs. They acknowledged that leadership and a deeper understanding of the trends were required at all levels, together with the provision of effective financing for local infrastructure and services, to improve human security and achieve the Commonwealth goal of “demonstrated progress towards adequate shelter for all with secure tenure and access to essential services in every community by 2015”. They welcomed continued Commonwealth efforts to address these challenges.
The full Communiqué can be downloaded here
25 Jan 2010
Discussion Paper: Gender in Planning and Urban Development
Commonwealth Secretariat Discussion Paper 7 December 2009
16 Dec 2009
CAP’s work on the State of the Commonwealth Cities was summarised into a short document from ComHabitat that was published for the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Trinidad. The booklet is called ‘Partnering for a more equitable and sustainable future through Better Urban Development’ and can be downloaded here
19 Nov 2009
Equity, Sustainability, Partnership
The theme of the 2009 Report by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, is Equity, Sustainability, Partnership. The report says that in a Commonwealth where 60% of the citizens are under 30, it is important to give youth a voice. There is also reference to the need to build public service capacity and to strengthen public institutions.
Climate change is recognised as a key issue for the Commonwealth.
To see the full report go to www.thecommonwealth.org
11 Nov 2009
CAP Regional Meeting in West Africa
The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners hosted a CAP West Africa meeting in Lagos 3 - 4 November. Representatives of the CAP members in Ghana attended, as well as a representative of planners in Togo. The meeting agreed to form a West Africa Planners Association. A full communique from the meeting is available here.
08 Jun 2009
Cities Under Threat from Rapid Urbanisation & Climate Change
Policy-makers and professionals in building industry were urged to club together to address crises at a forum in London organised by Built Environment Professionals in the Commonwealth (BEPIC).
Full article is available on the Commonwealth Secretariat website at www.thecommonwealth.org
04 Jun 2009
State of the Commonwealth Cities Study
The Interim Report of CAP's work on State of the Commonwealth Cities was presented to the Commonwealth Consultative Group on Human Settlements in Nairobi (see What's New 1/4/09).
It can now be downloaded from www.thecommonwealth.org
04 Jun 2009
Commpedia is a new 'Wikipedia' style website that focuses on Commonwealth organisations. There is no formal connection to Wikipedia but the concept is the same. The site allows material to be posted that can be amended, updated and commented by others. It is an initiative of Friends of the Commonwealth.
Want to find out more - and check out CAP's entry? Go to www.commpedia.org
30 Mar 2009
Head of UN-Habitat Challenges Planners
Planners have an ethical obligation to grapple with the combined impacts of rapid urbanization, climate change and globalization, says the Executive Director of UN-Habitat. "The role of professionals is central to our quest for sustainable urbanisation and for sustainable development. UN-HABITAT stands ready to support and work with you in this endeavour" Dr. Anna Tibaijuka told a meeting of the Habitat Professionals Forum in Nairobi on Saturday.
CAP was represented at this meeting by Christine Platt (President), Bosire Ogero (Vice-President, East Africa) and Cliff Hague, the Secretary-General. Dr. Tibaijuka directly addressed planners: "Your design becomes part of the urban landscape for generations to come. And the users of what you design will either love you or hate you!" she told them.
She drew attention to the plight of the estimated one billion women, men and children who live in slums. Then she stressed the inter-connected nature of the problems we face: "the impact of rapid and chaotic urbanization on our environment, and the ability of our planet to sustain diversity of life as we know it. As human activity concentrates itself in cities, irreversible changes occur in our production and consumption patterns. With half of humanity living in cities, we must bear in mind that cities consume 75% of the world's energy and generate an equally significant proportion of the world's waste, including greenhouse gas emissions. As easily seen in satellite photographs from space, the ecological footprints of megacities is growing alarmingly".
Dr. Tibaijuka challenged "How as professionals can we harness the positive aspects of urbanization to promote social inclusion, smarter growth and thus contribute to our collective stability and prosperity? How can urbanization become the cornerstone of a new inclusive civilization? How can we help create vibrant and socially cohesive urban communities?"
10 Feb 2009
Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment
Prince Charles has again highlighted the important part that good planning has to play in tackling the challenges of rapid urbanisation. It was a theme he aired in his video address to the World Urban Forum last November (see CAP News). Last week he told the annual conference of the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment that 'Well-made places are fundamental to the ability to establish locally-inspired solutions to local issues - and, indeed, local solutions to global ones'. He noted how the consequences of poor planning and place-making are a degraded natural environment, dislocation and ugliness.
The Prince asked the delegates if the world could build developments that respected existing settlements, improved living standards and accommodated the expected flood of migrants to urban areas.
He said: 'I believe we can, and that the benefits of taking such an approach could deliver more durable gains than those delivered through the present brutal and insensitive process of globalisation that is shaping so many aspects of how we now live'.
The one-day conference, Globalisation From The Bottom Up, showcased schemes from across the globe which are sensitively developing or restoring historic or poor areas through active involvement of local residents. CAP has a memorandum of co-operation with the Prince's Foundation, and were represented at the event by the President, the Vice-President for Europe and the Secretary-General.
For further details of the speech see www.princeofwales.gov.uk
21 Jan 2009
CAP was saddened to hear of the death of Peter Oberlander on 27 December 2008.
He was Canada's first Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and played a prominent role in the 1976 Habitat conference in Vancouver that did so much to put human settlements on the international agenda. Professor Oberlander was present at the 2006 World Urban Forum in Vancouver also, where his contributions were recognised by the Canadian Institute of Planners. He was 86.
14 Jan 2009
Strategic City: Planners for the 21st Century
The contents can be downloaded from www.commonwealth-planners.org
17 Nov 2008
How Cities are Changing
An article about the recent work of CAP has been published and can be accessed for free on-line. 'How cities are changing and the implications of those changes for urban planning' by CAP's Secretary-General, Cliff Hague, appears in the Bulletin of the Spanish Association of Geographers (Boletin de la A.G.E. No.46) It describes CAP's efforts to promote a 're-inventing planning' agenda.
It can be found at age.ieg.csic.es
17 Nov 2008
Self-assessments of capacity for planning: Key findings
Results from a major global study by CAP and the Royal Town Planning Institute of the capacity for planning are now available. The project was launched in March 2008 at the Planning Africa Conference in Johannesburg, by CAP Vice-President (Europe), Clive Harridge. The 'Self-Diagnostic Tool' is a questionnaire that allows planners to assess and reflect on the role and capacity of planning in their own country. It has been completed by 1268 planners from 117 countries, over 30 of them Commonwealth countries.
The analysis shows that too often the potential contribution that planning can make to critical challenges like reducing the rate of new slum formation, reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and fostering sustainable economic growth, is not being realised. Planning is fundamentally about integrating the economic, social and environmental aspects of places, yet it is common to find planners scattered in different departments, and for non-planning agencies to be able to over-ride plans and planning decisions. Too often there are too few planners and insufficient political support. Capacity building and skills development are widely recognised needs - but too rarely is there access to a holistic planning education that addresses local priorities.
CAP acknowledges the generous support of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (Cambridge, Mass.) and the RTPI Trust that made the project possible. CAP Secretary-General, Cliff Hague, said 'There has never been a study like this before. It provides a unique insight into the state of planning in and beyond the Commonwealth. It has built a virtual network of unprecedented breadth and potential. We will now seek to work with our partners such as the Commonwealth bodies, the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment and UN-Habitat, and of course our member institutes, to see how we can translate these findings into action to fill the capacity gap that has been identified.'
The summary of the findings can be downloaded from www.rtpi.org.uk
08 Sep 2008
Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers: A Home in the City
'Slum upgrading is a remedial measure made necessary by the inaction of past governments and the failure to adopt or implement adequate or efficient national and urban policies. Planning can prevent slums from forming. Cities need to apply the principle of planning before development, focusing on the future needs of low-income populations. The pervasiveness of precarious and informal settlements demands a comprehensive approach that can be ensured only by citywide development strategies and participatory planning.' This view is put forward in a major new report, 'A home in the city', which is produced by the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers.
The full report can be downloaded here. www.unmillenniumproject.org
25 Apr 2008
New Planning Capacity Tool
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP), with the support of the Lincoln Institute, and the Global Planners Network (GPN), have developed a capacity assessment tool for all people involved in planning around the world to use.
The tool helps planning organisations to assess their skills-base, organisational capacity, leadership and working methods. It is hoped that by identifying any shortfalls which may exist organisations will be able to take steps to respond to the challenge of urban growth within their country.
We encourage you to complete the tool using the link below and to tell your colleagues around the world about it.
13 Nov 2007
Francophone planners sign Vancouver Declaration
Six African planning associations and the French Society of Urbanists signed the Vancouver Declaration, and the six also signed the Durban Declaration.
The Vancouver Declaration was signed by planning organisations from 18 countries at the 2006 World Planners Congress in Vancouver. It commits the planning associations of the world 'to work together and with others to tackle the challenges of rapid urbanisation, the urbanisation of proverty and the hazards posed by climate change and natural disasters.'
The Durban Declaration was agreed at a meeting of African planners in 2002 and set up the African Planning Association 'to ensure that the promotion and co-ordination of planning in Africa receives attention at the highest level.'
The signatories were the representatives of Planning Associations in Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Tunisia and Cameroon.
Cameroon has also applied to host a permanent secretary for World Town Planning Days for (Francophone) African Countries.
Ashraf Adam, President of the South African Planning Institute addressed the meeting in Yaounde and urged as many Francophone delegates as possible to attend the Planning Africa meeting in Johannesburg next April, which will also be CAP's biennial conference and business meeting.
08 Nov 2007
Current Urbanisation Is Not Sustainable Say Planners
The way that cities are growing is not sustainable, says the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP). The association calls on governments to fundamentally rethink policies and approaches to managing urbanisation before it is too late. 'We have ten, maybe fifteen years, to get on to a new track. After that the slum problem, environmental damage and urban insecurity will become so entrenched that they will dominate international relations for the rest of the century', says CAP President, Christine Platt, a planner who works in South Africa.
Today, 8 November, is World Town Planning Day. There are 65,000 more people living in cities in the Commonwealth than there were yesterday. There will be another 65,000 tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. Urban growth rates are between 3 and 6% a year in a third of Commonwealth countries. Around 327 million people in the Commonwealth are waking up today in a slum. Their numbers are increasing day by day. Their life expectancy is dramatically less than their compatriots who live in better conditions.
Because the poor live in the most hazardous locations they are disproportionately vulnerable to the local impacts of climate change. The problems are particularly acute in small island developing states where the growing threats from rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions are not matched by growing capacity to plan and manage settlements in sustainable and equitable ways.
'Urban growth is going to be huge in this generation. It will create great wealth that can lift people out of poverty. However, we have to get the cities right, and that needs smart planning', said Mrs. Platt, who recently visited India to see how they are handling the urban consequences of an economic boom. 'We need a quantum leap in management capacity: more trained people with better skills, and planning legislation that is fit for purpose in today's world. This is something that CAP is working on, together with our member institutes, our Commonwealth partners and also UN Habitat. Too often, even in rich countries, the approach of governments to urban development is one of curative medicine: clearance, infrastructure after the development has happened, too little too late in environmental protection. Planning means preventative medicine; it's about acting now so that our cities and rural areas are not allowed to degrade to the extent that recovery becomes a prohibitive cost. There are encouraging signs that some governments within the Commonwealth are realising that they need to re-invent planning.'
25 Jul 2007
For a stunning sequence of slides of Vancouver go to www.makingplaces.hu then click on Programme Information then Programme Presentations then open the Adobe Acrobat file of the presentation by Larry Beasley (former head of planning in Vancouver).