Articles in the Planning & regeneration category:

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 […]

Doughnut economics

October 8, 2017

There is a long tradition of books about what is wrong with conventional economics; ‘Limits to Growth’ for example, was published 45 years ago.  The intervening years have seen quite a few of their ideas absorbed into mainstream thinking and some of their prophesies come to fruition. But It is a cause of frustration to […]

People power: our changing energy equation

July 4, 2017

In the latter part of the recent General Election campaign the Green Party paraded around central London holding placards with giant question marks on them. It was a way of drawing attention to their question ‘where has debate on the environment gone in this election?’ It is not an unfair question in a context where […]

Conspicuous consumpton is replaced by the ‘paygo’ economy

May 7, 2017

In 2012 the anthropologist Daniel Miller published a book called Consumption and its consequences. For those not familiar with him he is something of an expert on the way we relate to ‘stuff’- other books of his, and he is prolific, include The comfort of things  and Stuff. He is interested in exploring the different […]