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Sacred Or Profane

The Internet Sacred Text Archive is an intriguing website which contains, as it says, the text of numerous books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric. In a section headed Utopia, is a book many consider sacred, namely Garden Cities of Tomorrow by Sir Ebenezer Howard. I-apos-ve been a...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 19 April 2018

 

Garden Communities And Why Communities Are Saying No

This week sees the launch of two important publications on garden communities. Most important, of course, is the Smart Growth UK report on garden communities with the affected communities themselves saying just why they are saying no. No less than 10 of the local opposition campaigns have come toget...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 April 2018

 

Housing Targets And The Death Of Oxfordshire

First of all we heard from the Oxfordshire Growth Board, which includes the six Oxfordshire councils, that 100,000 new homes were needed -apos-to address the county-apos-s severe housing shortage and expected economic growth-apos-. Then we found out that a new Government method of calculating housin...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 08 April 2018

 

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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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