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Riding Sunbeams, Chasing Moonbeams

If I were to say in this blog that I remain committed to the Smart Growth principles that regular readers are familiar with and then say that I thought they would be best achieved by pursuing policies like housing sprawl, motorway building, airport expansion and distribution shed sprawl, you might r...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 06 April 2020

 

Negotiating With Nature, Two Examples

In my previous blog on Nature and Negotiation, I described the process of negotiation recommended by Roger Fisher and William Ury of the Harvard Negotiation Project. Since examples are helpful to see how this might work with Nature, here are a couple of illustrative cases. Among the many responsibil...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 30 March 2020

 

Nature And Negotiation

For too long humans have forgotten, or have failed to realise, that our relationship with Nature is based on negotiation. Instead, we have treated this relationship as an imposition by one party, humanity, on the other, Nature, with no clear voice of its own. So, for the most part, we have not negot...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 26 March 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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