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Yellow Days

As the world meets in Poland to discuss, yet again, what to do about climate change, those who hold shares in oil, coal or gas will have taken heart from the Gilet Jaune movement in France which has driven its Government to abandon plans to raise oil prices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The ne...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 07 December 2018

 

Village Football, Armaments And The Planning System

When I was much younger, I kept a rather dull daily diary for a few years. The brief entry for 22 November 1975 reminds me that Eynsham Reserves played away versus Adlestrop in the Cup, on the pitch at Oddington. Unfortunately we lost 1-6 and I noted that I thought Adlestrop was in Gloucestershire. ...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 04 December 2018

 

Democracy, Populism And Planning

All around the world, democracy is facing a bit of a shaky future. We may have been here before, but the travails that beset the world last time this happened inspire little confidence in the future, even if democracy survived. Right now, learned academics are grappling with new definitions of popul...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 25 November 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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