Collectively and politically, our attitude towards planning and development seems to ride a perpetual roller coaster. Every decade or so, we rise towards a summit of indignation about the dire effects our inept and slothful planning system is having on desperately needed housing development and job-creating businesses. Planners are instructed to stop interfering. After a brief period on the peak, though, influential people start to realise that things they value, like countryside, open spaces, playing fields – and their neighbours’ gardens – are being consumed much more ravenously than they like and so we plummet towards a realisation that the planning system we used to have perhaps wasn’t doing as bad a job as we thought. Planning gains support and strength again for a while, but soon enough dissatisfaction and indignation start to rise again. Read more →
The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published by the Government for consultation back in July and media interest in the reactions to it is building (even featuring on last week’s Question Time!). I thought the launch of our new blog provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on the CLG run NPPF workshop I attended a few weeks ago in Leeds. Read more →
Russell Wallis was one of the Academicians in the assessment team that visited two of the three shortlisted cities for the 2011 award.
Being part of an Academy of Urbanism (AoU) assessment team tests you both professionally and physically. A shared learning event, the team uses its combined experience to get under the skin of a place, to learn about local best practice and exchange our own knowledge and experience with that of our hosts. You listen a lot, you talk a lot, you learn a lot and you walk a lot, which inevitably leads to at least one of the group succumbing to a characteristic limp which the Lead Assessor Chris Balch assures me is known as Urbanist’s Leg. Read more →
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