Helping planners make decisions


Alister Scott, Claudia Carter, Peter Larkham, Mark Reed, Nick Morton, David Adams, Rachel Curzon, Nikki Scheissel-Harvey.


The fusion of Spatial Planning with the Ecosystem Approach helps to translate complex theory into accessible outputs for public and stakeholder engagement. 'RUFopoly' and 'EATME tree' are two of these outputs, and have been used by the Welsh Government to design emerging policy frameworks.


In the Centre for Environment and Society Research (CESR), work on the rural urban fringe has been carried out by centre members for many years. The rural-urban fringe now represents the dominant UK space, and research by members of CESR highlighted policy 'disintegration'. Out of this research emerged a number of frameworks and tools designed to make complex planning issues more accessible. These include:

  • RUFopoly – an interactive learning tool designed to help experience the issues the Rural-Urban Fringe – a place of constant change and opportunity requiring decisions and ideas.
  • EATME tree – the 'Ecosystem Approach Toolkit: Mainstreaming the Environment' (EATME) provides an accessible web portal through which users navigate through a policy cycle. This was a result of work carried out in a Defra and Research Councils UK funded project – the UK National Ecosystem Assessment follow-on.
Who benefits

RUFopoly has been used as part of strategy formation by Government (Welsh Government, Natural Resource Management Programme), Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Staffordshire County Council and many more, including internationally. It has also been used to support GCSE workshops in schools. The EATME tree has also been used by the Welsh Government, amongst other organisations.

Find out more

Download the full impact case study submitted to REF 2014

Spatial Planning fused with the Ecosystem Approach helps to translate theory into accessible outputs for public engagement.