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A Name Or A Retraction

Politics is a funny business, but somehow I cannot see young people singing Oh Sajid Javid at the tops of their voices the way some have begun serenading the Labour leader. But a Sunday newspaper is claiming the communities secretary is a convert to those wanting to bash the rich and ensure homes ar...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 17 July 2017

 

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

For quite a long time now, more than a century actually, garden cities and their spin-offs have been regarded as the acme of good planning. Regarded, that is, by the garden city movement itself. Sadly, thanks to its laudable role in the creation of the planning profession, the movement has been able...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 July 2017

 

Key Infrastructure Challenges

National Infrastructure Commission chairman Lord Adonis has been setting out his 12 immediate infrastructure priorities on which ministers, he instructs, must make rapid progress, whatever the current political realities. What a bizarrely mixed list he proposes. His Commission, it may be remembered,...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 June 2017

 

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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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