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Archive | planning

shrinking cities

The British planning system is designed to manage urban growth, investment and development. But how well does it perform when our towns and cities are faced with decline, population flight and demolition? I was a planning student in Glasgow in the 1980s when the debilitating effects of Clydeside’s industrial restructuring were at their most damaging. […]

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The Scottish Affordable Housing Debate

Last week I facilitated a seminar for the Royal Town Planning Institute in Glasgow to discuss these thorny issues. What follows is a summary of the presentations at the start of the evening. I found them interesting: I hope you do too. The massive gulf between house prices and average incomes means that housing is […]

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brasilitius | a British disease too ?

Brasilitius: the clinical condition for civil servants living in Brasilia, who have work, home… and nothing else. ‘A beautiful plan, but an abject human failure’, to quote Professor James C Scott of Yale University at his recent lecture in Glasgow, kindly hosted by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Prof. Scott’s premise was that large […]

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building in flexibility

Have you noticed how many projects have built-in obsolescence? Public realm schemes are a good source of examples, where soon after the redesigned street layout has been built it becomes clear that the design solves some problems but creates others – but it is so “fixed” that it can’t be easily changed in response. Paisley […]

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travel demo towns

The Scottish Government has just announced £15 million to help create a series of ‘sustainable travel demonstration communities’ across the country. Why not follow the example of Bogotá in Colombia, and close the streets every Sunday until 2pm for people? Check out the video for the benefits that this could bring… Sustainable communities, healthy living, […]

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jobs, houses and the Kirkcaldy & Mid-Fife Local Plan

I’ve just finished a small job for Fife Council Development Services as part of a team with TPS Planning, summarising and analysing the consultation responses to the initial ‘Issues and Options’ consultation stage on the Kirkcaldy and Mid Fife Local Plan, published in July 2007. Reading, summarising and analysing the consultation responses for the Council […]

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Hans Monderman – safer traffic management

I’ve just been reminded that there is no substitute for direct learning. After years of informally educating myself about Hans Monderman’s ideas about safer traffic management, and visiting British examples like Kensington High Street, I’ve finally heard the man himself speak. And it’s well worth it. Sadly, Hans died recently. But if you’ve got broadband, […]

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cutting down the paper overload

Well said, planning lawyer Stephen Ashworth! His call for the planning profession to cut down on paper overload in this week’s Planning magazine is a point well made. The argument that Stephen puts forward in his article is simple: Planning is overwhelmed by unnecessary information. Decisions are often delayed by the need to plough through […]

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training Councillors about planning

This year has witnessed the first concerted effort to train local authority Councillors about planning. This might seem somewhat strange, since Councillors have been legally responsible for deciding planning applications and preparing development plans – Structure Plans and Local Plans – since 1947. Like so many aspects of British public life, it was long assumed […]

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