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National Infrastructure Anomalies

Planning how to spend 179 billion pounds is a challenge few of us ever have to face apart, of course, from those who happen to be manager of Real Madrid. Football may be dominating national discourse just at the moment, but Tuesday saw more than just the 100th birthday of the RAF and a World Cup sem...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 11 July 2018

 

Chemical Warfare

As you may have heard, this last week has been National Insect Week and the alarms are ringing ever more loudly warning that UK insects are in big trouble. And, as thoughtful people, you will also know that means big trouble for us humans. We can pretty well all provide anecdotal evidence about this...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 June 2018

 

Yours Cynically

Lifting the stone of official secrecy to see what is scuttling about underneath is always a rewarding process and the emails published by the Manchester Evening News are a case in point. They reveal an email trail between civil servants which show the Government knew three years ago it would be clos...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 23 June 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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