Today’s announcement that Bicester is to be the second new garden city with 13,000 new homes, is a reminder that the UK’s housing shortage requires large-scale solutions. According to the Town and Country Planning Association’s estimates, between 240,000 and 245,000 new homes are needed each year up to 2031 to meet the needs of our growing population. This demand can only be met by building new settlements including schools, transport links, infrastructure and community facilities. Continue reading →
“The environment in which we live, work and spend leisure time – both the physical nature of places and the social environment of communities – has an enormous impact on our health and wellbeing. Health problems such as obesity, chronic heart disease, stress and mental health issues are intricately linked to the environments in which people live and work”. (RTPI, 2014)
Earlier this month the RTPI published Promoting healthy cities: Why planning is critical to a healthy urban future, the third in a series of Planning Horizons papers launched to mark the RTPI’s centenary. The report looks at how planning can help to create healthy cities – one of its main arguments being that health and wellbeing need to be at the core of city design and development.
With a growing number of people living in urban areas, and health problems such obesity and diabetes on the rise, planning for healthy cities is vital. And interest in the links between planning and urban health is nothing new.
Nobody likes the idea of experiencing antisocial behaviour on their doorsteps so further government action to help ‘troubled families’ will almost certainly be welcomed by neighbours and local communities alike.
While the Wildlife Trusts celebrated National Marine Week and British holidaymakers head for the coast to enjoy a traditional seaside holiday, they will almost certainly not be aware that the first of 11 marine plans for England has recently been adopted, even though these new plans are likely to have an impact on coastal areas.
Planning in the marine environment is a contentious issue with the increase in activities around the coastline and competing demands for resources. Offshore wind farms, ports and marina developments, coastal flooding and erosion, tidal energy, and aggregate extraction, as well as pressures from tourism and leisure, and the need to protect the environment and ensure sustainable development, all contribute to the growing pressure.
Has the town centre first policy failed in its attempt to restore vitality to Britain’s failing high streets?
Town centres and high streets across Britain have been suffering from the combined effects of the increase in online shopping, car parking issues, increasing business rates, and the impact of the recession, as well as the challenges of out-of town centres.
With flood levels finally subsiding, householders and businesses are faced with a mammoth clean-up operation, but with flooding likely to be a regular occurrence due to climate change is it time to think seriously about designing and building flood resilient or amphibious housing?