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Truths, Damned Truths And Projections

I wonder whether there is relief or regret around the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government over the decision last year to transfer responsibility for household growth projections to the Office of National Statistics. The projections, officially the basis of policies demanding the bu...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 September 2018

 

Flat White Knowledge

One of the things about the so-called Knowledge Economy, which is supposed to replace our dependency on traditional industries, is that those involved actually like to meet face to face. ICT is of course a major component of it, so it was once assumed that people would work from home and communicate...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 14 September 2018

 

A Wealth Of Experience

Last night I was privileged to attend a 120th birthday bash for one of the very oldest environmental bodies in the world, at the Guildhall in London. Environmental Protection UK has its origins in the local smoke abatement societies set up during the Victorian period which came together in 1898 to f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 11 September 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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