This article looks at why more mayors are committing to sustainability reports and highlights the benefits for cities of the launch of the World Council on City Data.
This blog considers the announcement that Britain will get is first new garden city in decades, to be located at Bicester near Oxford. The author looks at proposals for garden cities in China.
New towns and garden cities – Lessons for tomorrow. Stage 1: An introduction to the UK’s new towns and garden cities
As a new programme of Garden Cities and new towns in England looks increasingly likely (and as Scotland and Wales explore the opportunities for new communities to help meet their housing needs), the Town & Country Planning Association has published the first report in a two-stage project, looking at the lessons to be gained from the experiences of the first garden cities and new towns established in the UK as well as the state of these communities today.
A widely felt dissatisfaction with and anger about gentrification exists among Berlin’s residents. Furious debates about the touristification of residential neighbourhoods and massive protests against rent increases are just some of the ways by which this is expressed. This blog argues that outside the Anglo-American context, there are few cities where gentrification is as contested as it is in Berlin. Conversely, gentrification arguably forms a key component of Berlin’s urban growth strategies inspired by the so-called promises of the creative city and city marketing strategies aiming to promote the city’s image as hip, creative, and ‘poor but sexy’.
A tiny but growing movement is seeking to build and develop new urban neighbourhoods based on sustainable living and mutually supportive communities. This blog considers whether this could this end the isolation associated with the modern era.
The theme of this symposium was bikable and walkable cities. Discussion centred on new planning approaches like sustainable cities, smart cities, transit oriented development, and governance of livable cities. Experts invited from all over the world shared experiences on bikeability as a transportation mode and walkability while considering the roles of transit oriented development, human oriented transport, accessibility, public space use, innovative solutions, economic and sustainable approaches in sustainable transport, policies encouraging sustainable transport and participation. Presentations are available online.
Atkins was commissioned by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Prosperity Fund to prepare eco-low carbon (ELC) urban planning guidance in close collaboration with China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development and the FCO, and supported by the China Society for Urban Studies. China’s 12th Five Year Plan, which places strong emphasis on energy and resource efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental protection, calls specifically for an “optimized pattern of green development”. The National New Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020) issued in March 2014 further emphasises the importance of sustainable development and sets out a clear vision of green eco-low carbon smart development. The methodology is aimed at providing a blueprint for ELC urban planning in China. In promoting a new type of urban planning to meet the challenges of the new type of urbanization in China, the guidance places strong emphasis on integration (technical, process and conceptual), understanding local context, and human scale development in harmony with nature, as well as the importance of place making in urban form, and partnering to finance ELC development through green credit initiatives. The methodology was officially launched in Beijing in May 2014.
Besides being the author of 11 books on the subject, Herbert Girardet is also co-founder of the World Future Council. But now he’s left the concept of sustainability behind, moving on to define a new, more dramatic concept: the idea of regenerative cities. This is the theme of his new book Creating Regenerative Cities. The first half of the book sets out the problem, the idea of Petropolis. In this first part of a two-part interview he talks about the concept of regenerative cities, the existing state of affairs defined by Petropolis, and urban metabolism. The second part of the interview can be viewed here.
The New Communities Group (NCG) was set up in 2009 by the Town & Country Planning Association. The group consists of local authorities, key delivery bodies and other groups bringing forward large-scale sustainable developments of different models; from Garden City inspired new towns and villages to urban regeneration and extension schemes. The group helps to develop their proposals, embed ambitious sustainability standards and encourage a sharing of knowledge and best practice between the different sites. Together the group is providing innovative local leadership for plans delivering in the region of 60,000 homes.
This article from the journal “Housing Policy Debate” (Vo.24 Issue 4, 2014) argues that research supports the view that compact, walkable, diverse (CWD) neighborhoods are beneficial for urban residents. The authors searched the literature to try to understand the current status of evidence regarding claims about the CWD neighborhood, and found that research linking CWD neighborhoods to effects on residents coalesces around three main topics: social relations, health, and safety. They conclude that on the basis of the literature reviewed, most of the intended benefits of the CWD neighborhood have been researched and found to have significant, positive effects for urban dwellers. While physical factors are but one element affecting behavior and outcomes, and the issues of self-selection and causality remain, overall, key dimensions of the CWD neighborhood have been found to positively affect social interaction, health, and safety.