RTPI Centenary Timeline

The term town planning was first used in Britain in 1906. The statutory practice of town planning stemmed from the Housing, Town Planning, etc Act 1909, which permitted local authorities to prepare such schemes for land in course of development, or likely to be developed. On 11 July 1913 a provisional organising committee was established in London and an invitation was sent out to potential members to join a Town Planning Institute. A first meeting was convened and chaired by Thomas Adams on 21 November 1913. A Council was elected and met the following month. Adams was elected the first President on 13 March 1914.

One hundred years later, we celebrate our heritage and the great accomplishments of town planners across the UK, Ireland and beyond.

1913-01-01 00:59:15

The Town Planning Institute emerges

The term town planning was first used in Britain in 1906. The statutory practice of town planning stemmed from the Housing, Town Planning, etc Act 1909, which permitted local authorities to prepare such schemes for land in course of development, or likely to be developed. On 11 July 1913 a provisional organising committee was established in London and an invitation was sent out to potential members to join a Town Planning Institute. A first meeting was convened and chaired by Thomas Adams on 21 November 1913. A Council was elected and met the following month. Adams was elected the first President on 13 March 1914.

1913-11-03 00:59:15

The first meeting takes place

The first meeting of the Town Planning Institute was convened and chaired by Thomas Adams on 21 November 1913.

1914-01-06 02:59:32

“La Citta Nuova” published

“La Citta Nuova” (Sketches For A City of Towers and Elevated Roads) published by Antonio Sant’ Elia in Milan.

1914-01-30 00:59:15

Inaugural dinner on 30 January

RTPI formed at inaugural dinner on 30 January. Members drawn from RIBA, ICE, Surveyors Institute and IMCE, but also open to others involved in planning practice. Thomas Adams the first President, but left for Canada in October. Articles of association under the Companies Act signed 4 September. Alfred Potter appointed first (part-time) Secretary in December and paid £20 p.a. George Pepler became Hon Secretary & Treasurer.

1914-03-13 00:59:15

Our first President

Thomas Adams is elected the first President of the Town Planning Institute on 13 March 1914.

1914-05-06 02:59:32

Bartlett: 3rd university teaches town planning

Department of Town Planning established at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, under Adshead. The third university to start teaching Town Planning (after Liverpool, 1909, and Birmingham, 1912).

1915-01-15 00:59:15

Raymond Unwin elected president

Raymond Unwin served as the second president of the RTPI, from 1915 to 1916.

1915-02-10 01:59:23

Patrick Geddes “Cities in Evolution” published

"Cities in evolution: an introduction to the town planning movement and to the study of civics." London: Williams & Norgate.

1915-11-24 00:59:15

Examinations Committee set up

Examinations Committee set up as step to making RTPI a qualifying profession.

1917-02-08 01:59:23

American City Planning Institute established

American City Planning Institute (ACPI) established, with Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. as first president. It was renamed the American Institute of Planners in 1939.

1918-06-06 01:59:23

Tudor Walters Report

Tudor Walters Report on dwellings for the working classes. Covered density (no more than 12 houses /acre in urban areas, 8 in rural), site planning, roads and house design.

1919-02-13 01:59:23

Canadian Institute of Planners founded

1919-08-13 02:59:32

Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act

made town planning schemes compulsory for larger local authorities. Main focus was the control of suburban development.

1919-08-14 00:59:15

George Pepler elected president

1920-09-04 02:59:32

Welwyn construction complete

The second British Garden City was built in Welwyn, about 20 miles north of London. This followed the construction of Letchworth, England's first Garden City (about 30 miles north of London) in 1903.

1920-10-12 00:59:15

First examinations take place

First RTPI Professional Examinations held.

1922-10-13 00:59:15

First branch set up

Principle of having Branches agreed. North of England Division established (which included North Wales)

1924-01-17 00:59:15

Lady Lex appears

This page from the September 1924 issue of the Journal of the Town Planning Institute explains the use of Lady Lex, "The Genius of the City", on the Presidential Badge, which was presented to the president, vice-president and past presidents that year. Follow the link for the full page document.

1924-12-05 02:59:32

Royal Fine Art Commission set up

1925-02-08 01:59:23

Le Corbusier's "Plan Voisin"

Le Corbusier exhibits this ambitious town-planning and architectural project designed to replace central Parisian neighbourhoods with skyscrapers.

1925-05-13 00:59:15

Town Planning Act

First planning act not parcelled up with Housing.

1925-08-07 00:59:15

Planning studies taught at ECA

Planning studies began to be taught within Edinburgh College of Art.

1926-04-07 00:59:15

CPRE founded

Council for the Preservation of Rural England founded by Sir Patrick Abercrombie to campaign against ribbon development.

1928-01-18 00:59:15

Death of Ebenezer Howard

Sir Ebenezer Howard OBE (29 January 1850 – 1 May 1928]) is known for his publication Garden Cities of To-morrow (1898), the description of a utopian city in which people live harmoniously together with nature. The publication resulted in the founding of the garden city movement, that realised several Garden Cities in Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. This movement influenced the development of several model suburbs such as Forest Hills Gardens designed by F. L. Olmsted Jr. in 1909, Radburn NJ (1923) and the Suburban Resettlement Program towns of the 1930s (Greenbelt, Maryland, Greenhills, Ohio,Greenbrooke, New Jersey and Greendale, Wisconsin)

1928-10-27 00:59:15

J. Adburgham becomes first woman member

Jocelyn Adburgham is the first woman admitted to professional membership of the TPI.

1929-10-16 00:59:15

Local Government Act 1929

This enabled county councils to be part of joint committees or to take up powers relinquished by district councils. This was to become an important basis for regional advisory plans and schemes.

1930-10-09 00:59:15

TPI Scotland formed

Scottish Branch of TPI established.

1931-08-28 00:59:15

Dudley Stamp’s Land Utilization Survey begins

Dudley Stamp’s Land Utilization Survey begins

1932-08-18 02:59:32

Death of Patrick Geddes

Sir Patrick Geddes FRSE (2 October 1854 – 17 April 1932) was a Scottish biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and pioneering town planner.

1932-10-18 00:59:15

Examination exemption begins

TPI begins recognising some educational courses as giving exemption from its professional examinations. By 1939 seven Schools are recognised – Liverpool, UCL, Newcastle, Leeds College of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Manchester and the Architectural Association.

1932-12-23 00:59:15

Town and Country Planning Act

Extended planning powers to cover any land, urban or rural.

1933-10-12 00:59:15

Planning summer school starts

The first Town and Country Planning Summer School opened on 11 September 1933 at Digswell Park Conference House in Welwyn.

1934-12-12 00:59:15

Special Areas Act 1934

In response to the long economic depression, this act was designed to facilitate economic and social improvement. In Wales , the Treforest Industrial Estate came into being under the powers of this act.

1935-08-10 02:59:32

Restriction of Ribbon Development Act

1935-10-17 00:59:15

Town Planning Officers Section set up

Town Planning Officers Section set up as equivalent to a Branch. Wound up 1950.

1938-08-18 02:59:32

Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act

The Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 permitted local authorities around London to purchase land to be protected as open space and enter into covenants with landowners that open spaces would not be given over to development.

1939-02-05 01:59:23

American Institute renamed

ACPI renamed to the American Institute of Planners (AIP).

1940-01-03 02:59:32

“Town Planning” published

Thomas Sharp’s Penguin book “Town Planning” published. It was to sell 250,000 copies.

1940-03-24 00:59:15

Thomas Adams dies

Inaugural RTPI president passes away.

1940-03-24 00:59:15

Death of Sir Raymond Unwin

Sir Raymond Unwin (2 November 1863 – 29 June 1940) was a prominent and influential English engineer, architect and town planner, with an emphasis on improvements in working class housing.

1940-05-14 02:59:32

Barlow Report issued

Royal Commission on the Distribution of the Industrial Population. Recommended redevelopment and dispersal from congested urban areas, and regional balance.

1942-01-22 02:59:32

Uthwatt report

Expert Committee on Compensation and Betterment. Recommended that development rights in all land outside built-up areas should be vested in the state + CPO powers over developed land.

1942-03-25 00:00:00

Development of the English Town

A journey through the ages, examining the motivations of town-builders from the Iron Age to the 1940s, and extolling the virtues of 'modern' planning.

1942-10-03 02:59:32

Scott Report

Issued by the Committee on Land Utilization in Rural Areas. Recommended national parks and stronger planning powers in rural areas.

1943-10-14 02:59:32

Town and Country Planning Act

All land was brought under planning control by the Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Act .

1944-10-19 00:59:15

South African branch founded

South Africa is established as the first overseas branch of the TPI.

1945-01-11 00:59:15

The Way We Live film

A look at the rebuilding of Plymouth after World War II, spearheaded by architect and RTPI president Lord Abercrombie.

1946-12-13 03:59:40

New Towns Act

Provides for designation of sites for new towns and setting up Development Corporations.

1947-06-13 03:59:40

Town and Country Planning Act

All development was brought under planning control - this Act repealed all previous legislation, namely the Housing and Town Planning Act 1909, the Housing and Town Planning Act 1919, the Town Planning Act 1925 and Town and Country Planning Act 1932.

1947-12-10 23:43:28

The Royal Charter Petition Begins

TPI petitioned for a Royal Charter. RIBA, RICS, ICE and IMunE were unhappy and sought to strengthen the position of their own members vis a vis membership of TPI.

RTPI Centenary Timeline

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