Royal Town Planning Institute and Future Cities Catapult want planners to embrace technology in order to digitise monotonous tasks, free planners to plan, and boost the housing market.  

These two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 November to raise awareness amongst Royal Town Planning Institute’s 25,000 members about the ways digital technology can be used to enhance what planners can do and digitise the more monotonous tasks that take up valuable time. 

PlanTech could be game-changing for planners 

Stefan Webb, director of digital planning at Future Cities Catapult stated: “Our research and development has suggested that a digitally transformed planning system has the potential to radically change the way that planners do their work. In particular we are excited about the opportunities to remove many of the dull and monotonous tasks that take up planners’ time, and free planners to plan.” 

Royal Town Planning Institute and Future Cities Catapult plan to raise awareness by guidance, conferences, and outreach. Additionally, they want to research, analyse, and communicate the key opportunities for digital technology available to planners, also called PlanTech. And then, the organisations will embed these into education and courses, so new and existing planners are equipped to lead the way. 

Victoria Hills, chief executive of Royal Town Planning Institute commented: “Now more than ever we need planners to be strategic and creative to address the challenges and opportunities the country faces. In our ongoing campaign for the planning function to be better resourced and valued, we must also look at what planners can do themselves to make their job more satisfying and game-changing.” 

PlanTech is another way for technology to have a positive impact on the property market, making planners more productive and efficient. 

Technology has the ability to transform the property market 

Between PlanTech, proptech, property crowdfunding, and digitising information, technology is an important element of improving the property sector. Online agents and portals are pushing the housing market to embrace technology and innovation, while HM Land Registry’s Local Land Charges online register is improving and speeding up the homebuying process. 

There are also areas of the property sector that could see further technological advances. For example, if more planners start using digital technology, they will be able to spend more time on planning, which will in turn boost the housing market.  

The conveyancing process is another area many would like to see more technology used to improve access to information and to further speed up the homebuying process. Moving forward, it’s important for all of the different areas of the property sector to be committed to embracing technology and innovation, which could continue to improve the market drastically.