Connecting planners and planning across the Commonwealth

CAP Newsletter

Welcome to a new way of updating our members on the activities of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP). We’ll be issuing regular newsletters to members with more frequent versions in the months leading up to Habitat III in October. This issue will focus on some of the key projects CAP is involved with around the world on behalf of our 40 000 members (if you are a member of one of our member associations – you are a member of  CAP). CAP has been extremely busy over the last year with Habitat III preparations, a key project in the Caribbean and with possible new projects to help in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda due to be adopted at Habitat III in October. The next edition of the newsletter will focus on activities within CAP member countries and potential changes to CAP executive structure to allow more information sharing and interaction by members.

What is Habitat III and why does it matter to you as a planner and as a person?

Habitat III is a major global summit on housing and sustainable development held every 20 years and due to be held this October in Quito, Ecuador between 17-20 October 2016. The formal title is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development. The conference will focus on the sustainable development of towns, cities  and settlements and is likely to adopt a new agenda for that sustainable development known as the New Urban Agenda which will be a new global strategy for urbanization. CAP will be represented at Habitat III by President Dyan Currie and other member groups are also likely to attend this crucial event.

The nearly 200 member governments which comprise the United Nations General Assembly, private sector and civil society are all involved along with inputs from alliances such as the World Urban Campaign (WUC), the Habitat Professionals Forum (HPF) and the General Assembly of Partners (GAP -a temporary initiative of the World Urban Campaign). CAP is a member of the WUC, HPF, GAP and has also been represented on expert panels writing the policy papers for Habitat III. President Dyan Currie has been providing input in multiple working groups for the past year and has received many strong compliments about the commitment of CAP to the working groups.  Habitat III is  of fundamental importance to our profession and more information can be found at urban-agenda/about

The Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 SDG’s and associated 169 targets were adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 at a Special Summit on Sustainable Development and replace the previous Millennium Development Goals. The goals include a specific reference to the importance of cities with Goal 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The SDG’s came into effect on 1 January 2016. For more information on the goals and targets go to

The City We Need 2.0

The City We Need 2.0 is a consensus document developed by the World Urban Campaign members including the inputs from 26 Urban Thinkers Campuses held over the last 12 months. The finalised document was adopted in Prague in March 2016 and outlines a new urban paradigm. It represents the inputs of 7560 people from 113 countries and 2251 organisations representing 14 constituent groups and defines a joint vision for a better urban future. This reference document can now be used by all dealing with housing and sustainable urban development issues. More information including urban solutions and access to the new WUC TV channel is available at The WUC is now working on the implementation phase for TCWN 2.0 and other initiatives ahead of Habitat III. The WUC website provides many useful tips on how to be involved in this campaign and CAP is proud to be a lead partner of the WUC.

Citiscope (one of the lead WUC media partners) provides excellent update articles at

Strengthening Professional Planning Capacity to Advance a Caribbean Urban Agenda

The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) is leading a 2-year project entitled “Strengthening Professional Planning Capacity to Advance a Caribbean Urban Agenda”. The project (funded by UN-Habitat) is being implemented by the Caribbean Network for Urban & Land Management (CNULM) based at the University of the West Indies (UWI), in its capacity as secretariat to the Caribbean Planners Association (CPA).

To date, the project has resulted in the establishment of    two new national associations: The Planning Association of Dominica, and the St. Lucia Institute of Land Use Planners; helped planners from previously under-represented countries participate in the Caribbean Urban Forum in St. Lucia in May 2015 and supported the participation of 103 planners in four webinars events.

The 2016 Caribbean Urban Forum is being held from 27-30 April.

 For more information

Planning for Rapid Urbanisation – A new CAP project supported by HRH The Prince of Wales

One of the biggest challenges facing the Commonwealth is the rapid rate of urbanisation. Combined with a time of climate change and natural resource depletion the need to develop efficient and implementable urban framework plans has never been more urgent. The scale of the challenge is vast, with 2.5 to 3 billion people projected to move into towns and cities by 2050. The benefits  of having implementable urban framework plans will be to create places that can engender wellbeing, safety, prosperity – and guarantee the supply of water, food and energy to efficient and compact walkable communities.

To help address this challenge CAP is working on a new project with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, the Commonwealth Association of Architects and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. The aim of the project, which will be carried out over the next 1-2 years, is to develop a practical online toolkit to help provide planners, local government officials, landowners and communities with the resources they need to plan for rapid urbanisation. It is proposed that the toolkit will be launched by HRH The Prince of Wales to support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Urban Agenda. At this early stage, it is thought that the online toolkit will provide practical steps to develop resilient urban extensions or new towns and cities, based on universal principles and local variances.

For over 40 years CAP has promoted planning around the world. It has influenced the way people and governments think about planning. CAP captures the very essence of planning with its strong sense of purpose in ensuring planning plays an essential role, a strong sense of identity across the Commonwealth and a strong ethos of working together.

In addition most of its activities are carried out by volunteers from professional planning institutes around the world. Together these institutes have a combined membership of over 40,000 people.

For more information


Contact us

CAP is a charity registered in Scotland SC 034482


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