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Town planning

We make projects happen by steering proposals along the complex route to consent and completion.


At their best, developments create shared and sustained benefits for both investors in projects or developments and the local communities and environments in which developments occur.

Arup guides development proposals at each stage of the development control and management process. We give strategic advice on proposals, manage consultation, assess impact, prepare applications for planning consent and support applications through decision-making and post-decision processes. We also provide stakeholder engagement, reporting and appeal services.

Shaping welcome developments

At each step, our goal is to ensure that planned developments are not only acceptable but also desirable, sustainable and deliverable. We work to attain the best possible outcomes for our clients, whether they are from the private or public sector, planning authorities or third parties.

Our technical and commercial planning and policy experts work side by side with specialists – from acousticians and ecologists to security consultants – to ensure that plans are pragmatic and deliver value.

This approach has supported new town developments such as the Wixams, Bedfordshire, and significant infrastructure projects – from marine terminals such as Costa Azul to commuter rail, including the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, a high-speed connection between Hong Kong and mainland China.

Connecting plans with people

Our specialists foster good relationships with everyone involved in the planning process – including national governments, regional partnerships or agencies, local planning authorities and developers as well the wider community and other voluntary sector stakeholders.

On many projects, effective two-way stakeholder consultation is key. Arup has substantial experience in undertaking or managing community engagement, as with the Hunters point redevelopment, San Francisco, where our plan developed in response to residents’ priorities: tackling local crime, poor health trends and unemployment.

Putting planning in context

Arup is well-placed to develop successful schemes and proposals. Because our policy experts contribute to the design and evaluation of planning processes worldwide, we understand how policy works in practice.

We also specialise in producing sustainable plans, frameworks and masterplans that, in turn, give us the insight to guide projects that are in sympathy with visions for local or regional development.

One example is the Peterborough Integrated Growth Study – an overarching framework for regeneration and growth in Peterborough up to 2021. A multidisciplinary Arup team prepared the study, which shows how plan preparation can be driven by sustainability while being robust, deliverable and rooted in community consultation.

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Global contact

  • Chris Tunnell
  • Global Town Planning Leader

Explore our work


Changxindian Low Carbon Community.

Project: Changxindian low carbon community

Beijing’s first sustainable community.

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Brownfield sites review, map of section of London.

Project: Brownfield sites review

Study and database for identifying sites and evaluating potential uses.

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Campaign: Stations in the city

How are transport hubs evolving to meet local needs?

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