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Corridor Vision

One of the oddities of the garden city movement is its obsession with the northern Home Counties and the south-east Midlands. Perhaps this is because the area was the location of its only two garden cities and the first of the new towns they spawned, at Stevenage. Or perhaps it-apos-s because the mo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 May 2017

 

Come On, Be Regional

One of the things that emerged from our new report on garden towns and villages is just how desperate it has become for the incoming government, whoever that is, to address regional disparities in both local economies and local housing needs. One of the most important things planning does is to try...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 07 May 2017

 

Garden Towns And Villages - Unwanted, Unnecessary And Unsustainable

The garden towns and villages approved by the Government are supposed to have enormous potential to deliver homes, bring jobs and boost local economies. They are also supposed to enjoy community support. A new report from Smart Growth UK, however, shows just how wide of the mark ministers-apos- ambi...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 May 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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