Town and Country Planning Association

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Town and Country Planning Association
Tcpa 2 greens RGB.jpg
FounderSir Ebenezer Howard
Focusgarden cities, town and country planning, sustainable development,social justice, planning policy, climate change, health, green infrastructure
  • 17 Carlton House Terrace
    London SW1Y 5AS
Key people
Fiona Howie, Hugh Ellis
Formerly called
Garden Cities Association
Garden Cities and Town Planning Association

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is an independent charity founded and based in the United Kingdom. It works to improve the art and science of town and country planning.

It campaigns for the reform of the UK's planning system to make it more responsive to people's needs and aspirations and to promote sustainable development.


Founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1899 to promote the idea of the Garden City, the TCPA is Britain's oldest charity concerned with planning, housing and the environment.[1] The association was first called the Garden City Association, and then the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association, broadening its scope to promote town planning as well as garden cities. As such, it became the first pressure group for planning and predates the formation of the Royal Town Planning Institute.


The TCPA has been a reformist movement for over a hundred years – evidenced by its interest in fair shares in development and land value uplift; shared ownership of public open space; participative and entrepreneurial local governance; town and country planned together, and enhancement of the environment – and the need to achieve sustainable communities. The TCPA objectives in its new Manifesto for the 21st Century,[2] are to:

  • Secure a decent, well designed home for everyone, in a human-scale environment combining the best features of town and country
  • Empower people and communities to influence decisions that affect them
  • Improve the planning system in accordance with the principles of sustainable development


As part of its educational remit, the TCPA arranges conferences and study tours. The association is not only confined to England but is also involved in a range of European projects.


Garden Cities[edit]

Building on its legacy, the TCPA has been setting out a proactive agenda around garden cities, with a positive response from the government.[3] The association believes that a new generation of 21st century garden cities could help to solve a range of problems such as the acute shortage of housing in the UK and the need to respond to climate change[4] Recently, the Prime Minister has made a statement outlining his support of the garden principles and drafted a prospectus on locally led garden cities.[5] Ebbsfleet has been proposed as a potential new garden city. However, although the site is well-connected it is difficult to see how it could meet all of the Garden City Principles[6] but must genuinely offer affordable homes, according to the TCPA.[7]

Reuniting Planning and Health[edit]

Green Infrastructure Partnership[edit]

The Green Infrastructure Partnership (GIP) brings together a network of over 300 stakeholder organisations and individuals to support the development of green infrastructure (GI) in England. The GIP was launched by DEFRA in 2011 and was taken over by the TCPA in April 2014.

Climate Coalition[edit]

The Planning & Climate Change Coalition, which has been brought together by Friends of the Earth and the TCPA, includes over 60 cross-sector organisations and individuals. The Coalition has worked to ensure that the planning system makes a full contribution to meeting the climate change challenge. They have developed planning guidance and model policies on climate change for local authorities in England. The aim of the Coalition is to build a consensus amongst a wide range of stakeholders on the benefits of guidance on planning for climate change, working with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and communities. The Coalition has no core funding and no political or corporate affiliations.[8]


Clim-Cap is a two-year pan-European project funded by the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme to develop training leading to a qualification in climate change adaptation for professionals working in construction, architecture, planning and other built environment professions. Clim-C partners consist of a network of educational providers from across Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary and Spain, along with the TCPA. Partners are:

  1. Ruhr-Universitat, Bochum, Germany
  2. Akademie der Ruhr-Universitat gGmbH, Germany
  3. Wageningen Business School, Netherlands
  4. Energieklub Climate Policy Institute, Hungary
  5. Technical University of Catalonia, Spain
  6. Town and Country Planning Association, UK


The monthly journal Town & Country Planning publishes a range of reports that highlights the range of their work.


  1. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  2. ^ TCPA. "Manifesto for the 21st Century 'towns and countryside for a new age of challenge'" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Government offers support for locally-led garden cities". GOV.UK. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  4. ^ TCPA. "Re-imagining Garden Cities for the 21st Century: Benefits and Lessons in Bringing forward Comprehensively Planned New Communities" (PDF).
  5. ^ Department for Communities and Local Government (April 2014). "Locally-led Garden Cities" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Ready for germination". Civil Service World. 19 May 2014.
  7. ^ "New garden cities must offer genuinely affordable homes, says charity". The Guardian. 22 April 2014.
  8. ^ TCPA. "Planning & Climate Change Coalition". Retrieved 30 May 2014.