THE Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and the Petcare Information Advisory Service (PIAS) have partnered to launch the inaugural 2012 Pet Friendly Planning Award to recognise planning projects that best consider the needs of pets.
PIA National President Dyan Currie said the shift in the way Australians are living, such as in townhouses and apartments and more compact urban environments, combined with the ongoing popularity of pet ownership are driving the need to better plan for pets in urban environments.
"Two in every three homes in Australia have at least one pet. When you consider that lot sizes are getting smaller and census data showing an increase in apartment living, pets need to be catered for in parks and other public spaces," Ms Currie said.
"We have been a bit slow in Australia in successfully integrating pets into city living. Many countries with higher density living environments have done it well in the past and growth here means we need to catch up."
Ms Currie said the establishment of the award aims to showcase some great planning and promote socially responsible pet ownership, but added that policy initiatives are also needed.
The 2012 Pet Friendly Planning Award will recognise planners whose work encourages the social integration of pets in city precincts and public spaces, with the winner receiving $8,000.
It is expected entries will be received from peak planning bodies, individual planners, local councils, urban designers, landscape architects and any person or organisation involved in planning and development.
The winner will be announced on World Town Planning Day in November this year, with the winning project showcased at the 2013 PIA National Congress in Canberra.
More information is available from the Planning Institute of Australia website at <http://www.planning.org.au/whatson/pet-friendly-planning-awards>.