Covid-19 means many industry organisations are rethinking event plans or delivering them differently. The latest is the Transport Planning Society (TPS) who are delivering a virtual campaign to support their annual transport planning showcase event.
The TPS launched its 2020 Transport Planning Day Campaign in April focusing on the role of transport planners in tackling climate change and creating a sustainable, healthy future.
In contrast to previous years, given the Covid-19 situation, the campaign will be run completely online as a ‘virtual campaign’ from now until the autumn, when TPS hopes to hold its usual parliamentary reception in October and its Transport Planning Day itself on 16 November 2020. If this is not possible TPS will look to hold these events virtually as well.
The campaign content will be informed by stakeholder feedback gained from research that TPS will be launching soon. It is likely to include blogs, podcasts and webinars showcasing successful transport planning projects and policy initiatives within the campaign theme.
Commenting on the campaign theme, Transport Planning Society chair, Stephen Bennett said: “We are all aware we need to move people and goods in a far cleaner and greener way to achieve a net zero future. Cities have seen air pollution drop during the health emergency of the coronavirus crisis, due to reduced traffic. It shouldn't take these extraordinary circumstances to improve our air quality.
“In order to address the climate emergency, we need the UK government to pick up the pace with supporting the integration of spatial planning and transport planning and reducing the need to travel, with a clear focus on decarbonising the transport system whilst improving accessibility.
Commenting on the decision to go virtual, Bennett said: “Despite the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in, we believe it is important to continue highlighting fantastic transport planning projects, share some positive news within the industry and the communities that benefit from these projects, and look to the future on how we can improve transport further.
“With the coronavirus outbreak creating a period of uncertainty for us all, we have taken the difficult decision not to run the People’s Award this year, given the pressures on the transport industry and recognising our industry partners may not be able to offer as much of their time or input to the campaign as in previous years.”
“However, we will be providing lots of opportunities for our industry partners to offer support in-kind and we would welcome feedback from our stakeholders on the most beneficial way to give you a virtual celebration of transport planning.”
The TPS is looking to work with organisations to promote the virtual campaign and awards. To get involved, email TPday@tps.org.uk