Articles in the Planning & regeneration category:

Is climate justice at the heart of the Covid-19 recovery?

August 3, 2021

There were many striking images that emerged from the G7 Summit in Cornwall in June – but let’s not dwell on Boris Johnson’s early morning made-for-TV dip in the sea. Another was world leaders standing at the top of aircraft steps shading their eyes or waving to the assembled media, having just flown in from […]

The Nature of economics: the Dasgupta report on biodiversity

April 8, 2021

The Dasgupta Report on biodiversity (1) was published at the beginning of February. It is an important document on a par with Nicholas Stern’s The Economics of Climate Change published in 2006. Not least because it has been commissioned and published by HM Treasury rather than by an environment ministry.  Its timing is significant coming […]

Will we be remembered as ‘Good Ancestors’?

November 24, 2020

The concept of the ‘Good Ancestor’ isn’t exactly new. As Roman Krznaric acknowledges in his book (1) the term was coined by Jonas Salk, the man who developed the polio vaccine sixty years ago. He quotes him: ‘Will future generations speak of the wisdom of their ancestors as we are inclined to speak of ours? […]

Planning’s radical and socialist roots

June 15, 2020

The COVID19 lockdown has some upsides, including quiet streets, bird song, clean air and a chance to think. It has also allowed me time to read a number of books that have been weighing on my conscience, the important but not so urgent category. One of these has been Duncan Bowie’s on the radical and […]

Transport infrastructure investment and national economic priorities

May 1, 2020

I’m not sure that when Boris Johnson claimed during the Tory leadership contest last year that making model buses and putting happy people in them, was the way he relaxed, that he anticipated this would become a metaphor for his infrastructure policies once Prime Minister. But with the subjects of connectivity and ‘levelling up’ suddenly […]

Theaster Gates: transforming Chicago’s south side one vacant building at a time

December 28, 2019

Not many urban planning graduates get to have a solo exhibition at the Tate. But Theaster Gates is no ordinary urban planning graduate. For a start he has two planning degrees. Performance artist, ceramicist, urban regenerator, Theaster Gates‘s first solo exhibition in the UK, Amalgam, opened at Tate Liverpool in December, running till May 2020 […]

Our National Parks at seventy

October 11, 2019

This autumn marks the 70th anniversary of the passage of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. The then Minister of Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin, described it as ‘the most exciting Act of the post War Parliament’ (1) A big claim, but it was certainly of a piece with the Labour […]

Poverty, planning and homelessness

January 6, 2019

Once in a while political events or public policy pronouncements and developments ‘on the ground’ coincide to reinforce each other. Theresa May’s calamitous General Election and the appalling tragedy of the Grenfell Tower disaster in early June 2017 are a case in point, the latter reinforcing the sense, post-election of an out of touch government […]

Place-based industrial strategies and ‘guerilla localism’

September 28, 2018

When I started writing a column in ‘Town & Country Planning’ in 1986 it was called ‘Futurework’ because I reported on new initiatives and developments in the world of work, particularly amongst co-operatives, initiatives in local economic development, and the gradually emerging ‘green economy’. The column’s title was taken from a book of the same […]

The Child in the City

July 20, 2018

The Summer’s warm sunshine and cool breezes have brought people out into the street and the parks in numbers, and it has been a rather joyful experience after what has seemed like an interminable winter. Flowers, blossom, plants and birds have responded in kind; a profusion of sound and colour.  Seeing children outside enjoying the […]