Future Cities Catapult has awarded nine small and medium-sized enterprises and local planning authorities £200,000 to support the development of new tools and innovations to transform the planning system.

The UK’s centre of excellence in urban innovation awarded the funds after inviting UK businesses, individuals, entrepreneurs and planning authorities to develop ideas to create a more data-driven and digitally enabled planning system.
Nearly 90 entries were received, demonstrating the clear need for innovation in the planning sector. Proposals submitted included:

  • using data to identify land for housing developments
  • managing the impact of new developments on school and GP capacity
  • augmented reality to allow citizens to see future developments by holding up their phone or tablet.

The winners will have 12 weeks to develop prototypes that will help achieve a more transparent, inclusive and certain planning system.
Euan Mills, planning and urban design lead at Future Cities Catapult, said: “For years we’ve heard how the planning system is broken, and how it hasn’t delivered the number of homes we need or the types of places we want to live in.
“Our Future of Planning programme focuses primarily on how we plan, rather than what we plan for, and creates critical space to experiment; allowing those involved in the planning system to think how it could be done differently.
“We’re excited to work with the winners of our Open Call as they develop and test prototypes to build a faster, more transparent and equitable planning system.”