Articles in the Planning & regeneration category:

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 […]

A ‘gig economy’ or walking a tightrope?

January 3, 2017

The ‘sharing economy’ has become a popular concept recently. It is a term with multiple meanings  and depending on  one’s viewpoint is one of the positive outcomes of the digital economy and globalisation, or one of its most negative and destructive manifestations.  Essentially it is a term applied to a range of short term part-time […]

New Lanark: the ‘great experiment’

October 14, 2016

I visited New Lanark, social reformer Robert Owen’s experimental village on the banks of the upper Clyde in the summer. It is almost forty years since I was last there. The magic of the place hasn’t changed but the ‘visitor experience’ certainly has.  New Lanark now gets almost half a million visitors a year – […]

Cycling data helps cities

August 15, 2016

Have you heard of Strava? Nor had I until a couple of months ago and I’m a fairly keen cyclist. In truth if you are familiar with it you are likely to be young, tech savvy, and a keen runner or cyclist.   Strava is an app developed, where else, in San Francisco, for athletes, runners […]

Britain’s western powerhouse?

April 26, 2016

The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has caught the political imagination even if there is some debate about whether the financial resources to turn it into reality are really going to appear from the Treasury. The English devolution agendas post the Scottish referendum, and the desire to create poles of economic, cultural and political influence in England outside […]

John Henry Brookes: the man who inspired a university

February 25, 2016

I recently came across a book that had been presented as an end of year prize to a student at the Oxford School of Technology, Art and Commerce. It was signed by the principal, one JH Brookes. Although I recognised the name, it made me realise just how little I knew about the person or […]