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Show Me The Way To Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle is an attractive little town, popular with visitors and in the news recently for some unknown reason. Visitors, of course, have been staying away thanks to lock-down but Barney is lucky its economy is not wholly dependent on them or the small shops also closed up as, unusually for Cou...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 May 2020

 

Pompous And Patronizing

When the history of the 2020 coronavirus crisis comes to be written, one thing likely to strike historians is the way the mainstream media took its eye off everything else and devoted its entire coverage to the minutiae of the health emergency. The results will by then be painfully obvious. While th...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 14 May 2020

 

We Are Still Watching

It must be an extremely frustrating time to be a journalist, not just because they are confined to barracks like the rest of us, but because they are only permitted to report on one issue. Of course the health emergency is the main issue of the day and must dominate the news, but it has managed to e...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 26 April 2020

 

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ABOUT SMART GROWTH?

Smart Growth UK is an informal coalition of organisations and individuals who seek to promote the Smart Growth approach in the United Kingdom.

The Smart Growth philosophy is an internationally recognised approach whose elements are designed to support one another to produce better environmental, social and economic outcomes. First developed in North America in response to hypersprawl and over-dependency on cars, it incorporates the best approaches to planning from all over the planet.

In the UK, however, entrenched attitudes are destroying our countryside unnecessarily, gridlocking our roads and causing massive and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Car-dependent urban sprawl has been our default development mode for far too long.

There is a better way.

In 2013 the organisations supporting SGUK agreed a set of principles to guide its work:-

Urban areas work best when they are compact, with densities appropriate to local circumstances but generally significantly higher than low-density suburbia and avoiding high-rise. In addition to higher density, layouts are needed that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport so that they become the norm.

  • We need to reduce our dependence on private motor vehicles by improving public transport, rail-based where possible, and concentrating development in urban areas.
  • We should protect the countryside, farmland, natural beauty, open space, soil and biodiversity, avoiding urban sprawl and out-of-town development.
  • We should protect and promote local distinctiveness and character and our heritage, respecting and making best use of historic buildings, street forms and settlement patterns.
  • We should prioritize regeneration in urban areas and regions where it is needed, emphasising brownfield-first and promoting town centres with a healthy mix of facilities.
  • Civic involvement and local economic activity improve the health of communities.
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