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Jump To It, Chancellor

Setting no less a person than the Chancellor of the Exchequer four tests he must meet if the infrastructure needs of the nation are to be met sounds like it could be the action of a pretty independent body. With HM Treasury effectively running domestic policy, as it has done for some decades now, su...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 13 May 2019

 

When The Dog Fails To Bark

An essential function of an environmental watchdog is holding the Government to account. Not my words but those of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee chair Neil Parish following the highly critical
Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 May 2019

 

Connecting Glasgow

I remain surprised by how many people in the UK still believe that converting our cities to sustainable transport by restricting motor vehicles and prioritizing public transport, rail-based especially, cycling and walking is neither politically nor practically possible. Can I direct anyone who still...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 April 2019

 

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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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