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Ebenezer Howard Versus Garden Communities

For a long time now, I have had an uneasy relationship with the late Sir Ebenezer Howard. He was, without doubt, a remarkable man, whose ideas have spread around the world. He disproves Shakespeare-apos-s belief about the evil that men do living after them, while the good is oft interred with their ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 15 January 2020

 

Augean Stables

I suppose if I had just returned from a long and lonesome space voyage to Mars, I would be delighted to discover the Government is planning to spend around a hundred billion pounds or so on rail investment in England. But, as we all know, although that cash could pay for many high priorities like li...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 14 January 2020

 

A Happy And Smart New Year To You All

The Queen was perfectly accurate in her assessment that it may have felt quite bumpy at times this year. It certainly did. It was, after all, a year which saw the Brexit debate come to a head and an extremely divisive general election. It saw conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere take even ugli...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 31 December 2019

 

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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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