Please enable Javascript to view this site correctly

Planning policy advice

We mould robust, evidence-based policy that withstands scrutiny and guides positive development.


Arup’s expertise in policy-making comes from our experience of undertaking rigorous research and evidence-based analysis. But because of the firm’s broad practical experience in the built environment, we also understand the point where policy and the real world meet.

We provide strategic policy advice and research to clients including international and national government agencies, regional partnerships, local authorities and the private sector.

Our experience brings particular insight to policy relating to town planning, land use and construction, housing, economic development, infrastructure provision and funding, transportsustainability and climate change.

Influencing the future

Arup’s policy consulting work has helped shaped the thinking of national and local governments.

In the UK, for instance, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) asked us to study how sub-regional divisions were affecting planning policy and decision-making. The aim of the study, which included a review of cooperation between local authorities on planning issues, was to help DCLG consider how to improve the planning process.

We have also assisted with planning systems in the US, Australia, China and the Middle East. Worldwide, we bring together planning, policy and technical expertise to influence beneficial change.

One of our many strategic planning and technical studies was commissioned by the Hong Kong Government to examine enhanced use of underground space to tackle land scarcity in Hong Kong. The study will be used to promote cavern development – especially for ‘bad neighbour’ facilities that affect the quality of urban life – in line with a policy objective defined by the Hong Kong Government’s Chief Executive.

Underpinning resilience

Our policy experts are helping clients, including city authorities around the world, to respond to climate change.

Arup’s wide-ranging expertise means that we understand influences on community resilience – from secure water supply to building retrofit. With that knowledge, we can help policy-makers understand the challenges ahead and put the best possible guidance in place.

As advisor to the C40 Cities, we are helping leaders of cities including Toronto, Melbourne, São Paulo and Ho Chi Minh City to take strategic decisions. We have also helped put the City of Melbourne at the forefront of urban sustainability with a revised portfolio of carbon mitigation policies that fit into its overall strategy for zero net emissions by 2020.

Organisational effectiveness

Within the policy spheres in which Arup operates, we assist clients to define or review their priorities, structure, delivery mechanisms or funding models.

We helped Westminster City Council to assess the effectiveness of its City Planning Delivery Unit with a view to carefully managing a budget reduction while retaining core corporate functions. We have also reviewed the delivery of archaeological services for Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, where we considered the potential savings that could be realised through reorganising the existing shared service arrangements.

Search our services

Global contact

  • Chris Tunnell
  • Global Planning Policy Advice Leader

Explore our work


British Land, closeup of technical drawing

Project: British Land

Enhancing British Land’s reputation as a top-performing, sustainable property company.

Read more

Freight distribution assessment. Image credit Jean Dulez/Locomotives of Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Project: Freight distribution assessment

Study into freight distribution throughout Botswana.

Read more

Brownfield sites review, map of section of London.

Project: Brownfield sites review

Study and database for identifying sites and evaluating potential uses.

Read more

Be social and share