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There Is A Cure For The Summertime Blues

It could be something of a relief to hear that the Government has decided not to rush into announcing changes on assessing local housing need in England. Just four weeks ago, communities secretary Sajid Javid said the plans would be announced in July. Then, after some daft ideas were floated in symp...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 03 August 2017

 

Petrolheads And Other Bright Sparks

It really took no time at all for the wheels to come off the Government plan to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide in a mere 23 years time. The plan to end sales of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 certainly grabbed the headlines. It could mean, 40 years from now, there wou...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 July 2017

 

A Name Or A Retraction

Politics is a funny business, but somehow I cannot see young people singing Oh Sajid Javid at the tops of their voices the way some have begun serenading the Labour leader. But a Sunday newspaper is claiming the communities secretary is a convert to those wanting to bash the rich and ensure homes ar...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 17 July 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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