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This Land Is Our Land

The intense cyclonic systems which have passed over Great Britain this month did not even rate naming as storms, despite producing some memorable local flooding, intense winds and a layer of gloom among those who had chosen August staycations. But ever more intense weather events are the new normal ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 17 August 2019

 

England Plc And Linear Thinking

Imagine a company with perhaps thousands of employees, and offices and warehouses in several parts of the country. They manufacture widgets and wodgets and offer repairs & services for their products. They also have a consultancy division, which offers advice on the sector and how to make the most o...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 08 August 2019

 

Doubling Down

Few would disagree with Natural England chair Tony Juniper when he said last week that climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the biggest challenges facing our generation. Yet the context in which he said it has provoked a degree of anger and scorn amongst many of those most likely to agree...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 05 August 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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