A BIRMINGHAM City University project has been shortlisted for an award at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence.

The awards, which celebrate the best in planning, see 63 projects, consultancies and local authority teams competing across 10 categories.

Birmingham City University has been shortlisted in the Innovative planning practice in decision making category, for its National Ecosystem Approach Toolkit (NEAT) project.

The project forms part of the National Ecosystem Assessment follow on project supported by Research Councils UK and the UK Government. The university’s developed NEAT Tree is a web portal for built and natural environment professionals to use to mainstream nature more effectively into policy and decision making.

Alister Scott, Professor of Environmental and Spatial Planning at Birmingham City University, said: “Given recent flooding and extreme weather events, it’s important that we learn to work with nature to produce multiple benefits for society, the economy and the environment.

“The web interface provides guidance within accepted steps of a policy or decision-making process, signposting the best bundle of tools to help support a particular sets of goals. It is 'applied common sense', which marries up the built and natural environment into a holistic framework.”

Chairing the panel of 24 expert judges for this year’s awards is Sir Terry Farrell, one the world’s leading architect planners, author of the recent Farrell Review, a UK Government-commissioned review of architecture and the built environment.

Sir Terry said: “The standard of entries to the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence is extremely impressive and a credit to the profession.

"This is the second year I have chaired the judging and I am proud to say that, once again, our shortlist reflects the very best planning projects, strategies and processes that are helping to make great places for people to live and work.”

The awards ceremony takes place on Monday, June 23 at the Shaw Theatre in the Pullman London St Pancras. For more information, visit rtpi.org.uk