natco

Blogs

Motorway Madness

If anyone now doubts that the climate emergency is taking hold faster than even pessimists expected, they should look beyond recent gloomy stories about trillions of tonnes of ice having melted in recent decades and the rapid failure of the Greenland ice cap. They should simply look out of the windo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 25 August 2020

 

There May Be Trouble Ahead

I suppose I should be applying myself to the numbingly dreadful Planning White Paper, but we should not forget the other huge challenges ahead. The attempt to give house builders carte blanche to concrete our entire countryside is only one among several. The climate emergency is gathering pace and t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 10 August 2020

 

A Resumption In Favour Of Sustainable Development

The bizarre obsession with house building that has seized the Treasury, and its subordinates in the rest of Whitehall, for nearly 20 years will be something for historians of British planning to pore over in amazement. If you want to be a winner in the Government numbers game, remember to shout out ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 July 2020

 

go back

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.
go back  |  top