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A tumbled country

Most new housing in England is being designed without any character or sense of identity. LDA Design’s Ian Houlston and Dr Stephen Carter of Headland Archaeology argue that there is no excuse for making ‘non places’.

No more mean streets

Global lockdown has resulted in the emptying of our streets of cars. With UK road travel at 1955 levels, pollution is dropping. Pop-up bike and jogging lanes replace traffic jams and the air is easier to breathe. When lockdown lifts, will there be a new-found energy and appetite to rethink and reclaim our streets at a pace and on a scale unimaginable before the crisis? The good news is that this process of reclamation is already well underway.

Is grass the great disruptor?

Grass has a power. Feel its softness underfoot and all we want to do is stretch back, play games, relax. Does it belong in our hard-paved city centres? Cannon Ivers thinks it does.

Breaking with ‘town and gown’

Are we all expecting too much of our University Estates? For centuries we have been happy to let them focus on ‘gown’ and now we want them to drive social and urban change in the ‘town’.

Dreaming Thamesmead

Thamesmead was designed to be an utterly distinctive new place. It failed to live up to that early promise, Neil Mattinson explains how a new strategy seeks to forge a brighter future.

Building community while building tall

Tall buildings change the look of low-rise neighbourhoods, but Andrew Harland argues that this visibility  dominates the planning process to the exclusion of something more important – how a place feels and works.

Greening the West End

London’s population is rising by around 100,000 a year. Public realm is the antidote to the city growing denser, hotter and more congested. All eyes are on Camden Council as it rolls out an ambitious programme to make the centre greener, cleaner and safer.

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