TPR authors nominated for top national planning research award

Delivering growth? Evaluating economic governance in England’s South East sub-regions research project by Dave Valler (Oxford Brookes) and Nick Phelps (UCL) has been nominated for top national planning research award and will be free to access for three months.

Dave Valler and Nick Phelps are finalists in the Academic Award category at the 2016 Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence. The project, titled Delivering growth? Evaluating economic governance in England’s South East sub-regions, focused on the very real challenges involved in examining the performance of economic governance arrangements in particular sub-regional territories. It developed an innovative evaluative frame based on a set of criteria for ‘good economic governance’ as perceived by the stakeholders concerned, which then forms the basis for a judgement regarding the ‘quality’ of economic governance in each case.

The Awards for Research Excellence are run by the RTPI to recognise and promote high quality, impactful spatial planning research from RTPI accredited planning schools, and planning consultancies around the world. There was tough competition to be named a finalist, with 87 entries to this year’s awards, a more than 40% increase on last year.

Dave Valler said ‘we are delighted to be named as finalists in the RTPI Academic Awards and we hope that this work provides some interesting ideas around sub-national economic governance and associated issues of evaluation. While governance is by nature a complex and negotiated task, and governance impacts are notoriously difficult to attribute to particular concrete causes, deriving evaluative criteria from the views of the stakeholders concerned, and examining their own interpretations of strategic capacities, imaging and identity-creation, policy ownership, levels of resourcing and influencing delivery, provides valuable insights into the notion of good economic governance’

Dr Michael Harris, RTPI’s Head of Research, said:
“The RTPI Research Awards have gone from strength to strength. The growing body of high quality research work in planning is impressive but more importantly, it is a positive sign that more academic researchers want to reach out to practitioners and policymakers with insights and findings that can inform and influence their work. This is what the Awards celebrate and I am pleased that RTPI planning schools and planning consultancies have responded.”

The winners will be announced on 7 September during the 2016 UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference at Cardiff University.

The paper will be freely available for three months, you can find it here >>