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

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Opinion: We should be talking about how to build more beautifully

Opinion: We should be talking about how to build more beautifully

The government's choice of chair for its Building Better, Building Beautiful commission provoked controversy, which distracts from the debate, writes Chris Brown.

Opinion: Permitted development rights won't save the high street

Opinion: Permitted development rights won't save the high street

The government's consultation on allowing shops, restaurants and other high street uses to change to offices without planning permission raises concerns, says Joey Gardiner.

Opinion: Housing need cannot be fully met by the market

Opinion: Housing need cannot be fully met by the market

The private sector housebuilder business model cannot deliver the homes we need, so government should be looking to incentivise new approaches, writes Tim Williams.

Opinion: What the customer wants

Opinion: What the customer wants

The design of the UK's new homes is a product of our delivery system, but the customer needs convincing that there could be a better way, argues Chris Brown.

Opinion: Austerity hampers the pursuit of better housing design

Opinion: Austerity hampers the pursuit of better housing design

Housing minister Kit Malthouse spent much of the recent Conservative Party conference telling those who would listen about his passion for housing design and his fears that there is "not much" quality design in current development.

Opinion: We need new thinking for left behind areas

Opinion: We need new thinking for left behind areas

Past regeneration initiatives have done little to improve post-industrial areas and living conditions for their once vibrant communities. Public policy badly needs to develop some new thinking, writes Tim Williams.

Opinion: Our suburbs must adapt and evolve

Opinion: Our suburbs must adapt and evolve

City suburbs have suffered as city centres have re-energised, but suburban district centres have the potential for renaissance, argues Jennet Siebrits.

Opinion: The consequences of high rise clusters

Opinion: The consequences of high rise clusters

The creation of high rise clusters in well-connected urban centres results in a polycentric development pattern across big cities, with implications for the suburbs, writes Miles Gibson.

Opinion: Wellbeing builds the case for design

Opinion: Wellbeing builds the case for design

Evidence showing how placemaking impacts positively on people's wellbeing helps to build the business case and challenge the good design deniers, writes Chris Brown.

Opinion: When high rise becomes heritage

Opinion: When high rise becomes heritage

Within a few decades new towers that are often considered controversial today could have become iconic parts of the identity of our cities, writes Miles Gibson.

Opinion: Why we shouldn't abandon all hope (value)

Opinion: Why we shouldn't abandon all hope (value)

Hope value is the name attributed to value given to land by the prospect of a future planning permission - a permission that might be the difference between £10,000 per hectare agricultural value and £1m per hectare-plus residential price.

Opinion: Cities need diversity for prosperity

Opinion: Cities need diversity for prosperity

"Cities are not great lumps of chaos," said the celebrated urbanist Jane Jacobs. These and other words have resonance for Chris Brown in our present context.


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