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Expert comment on town planning, urban regeneration, economic development, urban design, sustainable development & community building.

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Opinion: The importance of being generous

Opinion: The importance of being generous

Small interventions in the urban fabric have been largely lost in the UK development industry, resulting in a loss of much that is of value in placemaking, says Chris Brown.

Opinion: Capture the true value of infrastructure

Opinion: Capture the true value of infrastructure

Infrastructure appraisal often focuses on projects that purport to cut travel times, when it should pay more attention to potential for residential value uplift and job creation, writes Tim Williams.

Opinion: Momentum is building on community-led housing

Opinion: Momentum is building on community-led housing

Urban community-led housing seems to be gaining traction rapidly in England and particularly in cities like Bristol, Leeds and London.

Opinion: Holding onto Hackney's sense of place

Opinion: Holding onto Hackney's sense of place

The east London borough is changing fast, so it is down to local players to ensure that the area's heritage and communities thrive, writes Ibrahim Michael Maiga.

Opinion: Continuing the fight for the right to be average

Opinion: Continuing the fight for the right to be average

City divisions can run deep, resulting in lower life expectancies for the poorest residents. It's a challenge Tim Williams encountered in London and which might be even more pronounced in Sydney.

Opinion: The threat to London's distinctive villages

Opinion: The threat to London's distinctive villages

In the drive to create the home of the future, we lost sight of the value of such qualities as distinctiveness, community and stability, writes Dean Clifford.

Opinion: Grenfell tragedy should inspire positive change

Opinion: Grenfell tragedy should inspire positive change

It's hard, given the events in West London, to write about anything else, but it is also hard, in the absence of any concrete information on the causes, to comment on this tragedy. It may turn out that someone did something wrong negligently (or in other ways), but it also seems possible that this is the unimaginably tragic result of system failure.

Opinion: A right to decent housing

Opinion: A right to decent housing

The human tragedy at Grenfell Tower brings focus to the housing issues of those with the least choice, writes Stephen Gleave.

Opinion: Look to the evidence in infrastructure appraisal

Opinion: Look to the evidence in infrastructure appraisal

A planned motorway extension through Western Sydney Parklands provides an opportunity to take a more evidence based approach to appraisal, writes Tim Williams.

Opinion: Return of urban renewal as mayors dodge tough calls

Opinion: Return of urban renewal as mayors dodge tough calls

It's now nearly two decades since architect Richard Rogers started the study that produced the concept of urban renaissance.

Respect renewal areas' existing communities, by Chris Brown

Respect renewal areas' existing communities, by Chris Brown

I recently watched two films with placemaking themes. The first was Citizen Jane, the story of community activist Jane Jacobs' successful 1960s campaign against New York city planner Robert Moses' proposals for the destruction of Manhattan through large-scale demolition. The second, A Moving Image, based on the Reclaim the Streets protests in Brixton in 1998, asked intelligent questions about gentrification.

Opinion: Urban regeneration is central to shaping the city

Opinion: Urban regeneration is central to shaping the city

It can bring not only density, mixed uses and improved connectivity, but also clusters of talented people, employment and investment, writes Tim Williams.


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