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A Sewing Lesson

Pretty well everyone in the UK who is not either a volume house builder or one of their consultants now accepts that our natural environment is badly fragmented. So the DEFRA 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, published last February, is particularly interesting, containing as it does ideas fo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 January 2019

The Century The Earth Caught Fire

One bit of television you may have missed over the festive season was a rerun of the 1961 movie The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Basically the film is about a bunch of national newspaper journalists trying to find out why the weather is rapidly getting weirder. Weather events all around the world are ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 27 December 2018

A Mighty Boondoggle

Our American cousins call a project that is a waste of both time and money but which is pursued for commercial or political gain a Boondoggle. This could be a word worth learning. The scale of commercial ambition now buzzing round the so-called Oxford-Cambridge Arc proposals like a cloud of hungry f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 22 December 2018

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US state capital aims at densification

Added on 12 December 2017

Olympia, the capital of Washington state, has proposed changes to planning regulations that would enable its population to grow by 38 percent by 2040 without an increase in urban sprawl.

The City′s latest comprehensive plan update aims to achieve denser development in urban areas by a series of regulatory changes. It will make it easier to build ″missing middle housing″, including basement apartments, backyard cottages, duplexes and triplexes, town houses, ″tiny houses″ etc..

″Like a lot of cities, we have low-density zoning districts that currently just allow single-family houses with very limited ability to do anything else″ says Leonard Bauer, Olympia′s deputy director of planning and development. ″We have some provision for townhouses, but beyond that, there′s not much for missing middle and those zones occupy nearly three-quarters of the city′s area.″

City planners aim to have the proposals in front of the Council early next year.

City of Olympia

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