Federation for
Housing and

Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA)

The TCPA founded the first Garden Cities in Letchworth and Welwyn and successfully secured the first planning legislation in 1909. The association campaigned through the inter-war period for new settlements and a transformation in housing standards sparking a worldwide interest in town planning. Over the last decade it is best known for its positive campaign for Garden City principles including, for example, an appreciation of the links between people's health and the design of the built environment. The TCPA remains the world’s longest surviving charity promoting the values of progressive planning and place-making, and is IFHP National Chapter in the UK.


TCPA Town and Country Planning Association was Founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1899. The TCPA represented a fusion of ideas about social justice, beauty in design, health and wellbeing and economic efficiency. For the TCPA planning was, and remains, a creative artistic activity as well as technical and analytical.

TCPA campaigns for the reform of the UK’s planning system to make it more responsive to people’s needs and aspirations and to promote sustainable development. The Association prides itself on leading-edge, radical thinking and problem-solving.

The TCPA’s values are built on a powerful history of utopian and progressive ideas which shaped the Garden City movement and which continue to provide a rich and creative springboard for shaping the future.

TCPA objectives:

  • Secure a decent, well designed home for everyone, in a human-scale environment combining the best features of town and country;
  • Empower people and communities to influence decisions that affect them;
  • Improve the planning system in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Working subjects

The TCPA and its members are working on the key environmental and social issues which will shape how and where we will live in the 21st century:

  • How can we ensure decent housing for all, and where should it go?
  • How can we better engage people in the changes necessary to bring about sustainable development?
  • How can we secure strategic and regional planning and development with long-term vision, while at the same time ensuring that the planning system acts and responds more swiftly?

Their policies inform major national and regional issues including:


  • Providing more high quality affordable housing
  • Managing land values to benefit the local economy and local people
  • Developing innovative means to fund vital infrastructure
  • Responding effectively to demographic shifts in the housing and jobs market


Methodology of work / Activities

The TCPA has a long track-record of creating high quality conferences, influential research reports, innovative training programmes, and thought-leadership across the planning and built environment sector.

The TCPA has led a number of highly successful pan-European projects on topics such as energy, green infrastructure and housing.

The TCPA is also active in China delivering capacity building activities in partnership with local organisations, and sharing their heritage and learning from the UK Garden Cities and New Towns of which there is great interest among Chinese policy-makers and developers.


Membership and Community

The TCPA occupies a unique position, overlapping with those involved in the development industry, the environmental movement and those concerned with social justice. The TCPA’s membership includes over 1,000 representatives of local authorities, housebuilders, academics and NGOs.


Events for 2017

In 2017, the TCPA has a busy schedule of events focused on meeting the needs of people through the planning system. The TCPA will be working with government to campaign for the benefits of well-planned new towns to meet the need for more housing as part of the government’s upcoming Housing White Paper. The TCPA will also be campaigning for emerging legislation to include the positive role of planning in creating places that people are proud to live and work in.

The Association also has a new EU funded project on green infrastructure called PERFECT (Planning for Environment and Resource Efficiency in European Cities and Towns), with INTERREG Europe.

The TCPA’s New Communities Group of 14 local authorities planning and delivering large scale developments will also be hosting its annual series of workshops and events.