Active Design presentation at Planning Healthy Communities Conference, London

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Keith Brown

David Lock Associates continued the programme of sharing Active Design guidance with a presentation at “Planning Healthy Communities”, a Westminster Briefing Conference, held this week (18th October), in central London.

Keith Brown, Associate Urban Designer at DLA, presented alongside Sport England to share the Active Design guidance with a diverse audience of delegates from planning, development and health sectors. Active Design, prepared by DLA with Sport England and supported by Public Health England, is an innovative set of planning and urban design guidelines to get more people moving through the design and layout of places. Following publication in October 2015 Active Design was shortlisted for the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2016.

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active design - David Lock Associates

How do we create movement for all?

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Richard Latcham

Stark choices: we must combine mobility, climate change and urbanism

Looking forward in time, we can be sure of one thing, we have to adapt our transport systems for climate change. Can you imagine a road or perhaps a motorway network with 10% of it flooded during the winter?  What about London’s Underground closed because it’s too hot to use in the summer? Leaves on the railway line?  What about buckling rails and the failing signal systems?  And let’s not think about all those melting tarmac roads.

We have to adapt to meet the problems coming our way and we must change our behaviour to mitigate the effects for future generations.  In short, we need a different approach to transport planning, and this approach must combine mobility, climate change and urbanism. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: How do we create prosperity and wellbeing for all?

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Robert Purton

Are logistics parks becoming the new high street?

In our major towns and cities, the historic plethora of independent stores with kind and considerate service that was enjoyed by previous generations have largely made way for national and international stores.  The levels of customer care provided by these stores is different and with technology we are voting with our phones, computers and tablets.  Even John Lewis, at the summit of service and price is feeling the cold winds of the change in customer purchasing. They are cutting back their rate of new stores being opened and have recently opened a £150-million-pound national logistics centre in Milton Keynes. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: How do we create certainty for all?

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Naomi Williamson

Will reducing pre-commencement conditions actually speed up delivery?

The reduction in and simplification of planning conditions has been a constant theme in reform of the planning system for a number of years in England. From the introduction of the principle of deemed discharge[1] in 2015, which allows applicants in some circumstances to write to a planning authority deeming that a condition has been discharged if not already done so within the statutory timeframe, to the Government’s current consultation on ‘Improving the use of planning conditions’,[2] it seems this issue is here to stay. Read more »

Smart Cities – more about the technology than the challenges?

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Duncan Chadwick

Smart cities? What are they? Worryingly only two in ten people in the UK had even heard of a ‘smart city’ according to a national survey carried by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)[1] in 2015. There are various definitions but the British Standards Institute (BSI)[2] defines a smart city as one where there is ‘effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens’. This is a very ambitious target so how successful have they been? Have they just been an opportunity for some of the world’s largest companies to sell their products, software and new technologies to city leaders? The smartness of a city is surely not about technology as such, but more about how well the technology is used in an integrated way to help the city function more effectively. Read more »

Smart Cities - David Lock Associates

Beyond the numbers: How do we create place and identity for all?

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Joe Carr

Will Brexit have a dramatic impact on the economic potential and vibrancy of our cities?

With the UK voting to leave the EU, it is no secret that there are planned changes in how immigration is managed across the country. A key element of the campaign to leave the EU was to gain full control of our borders, with a view of allowing less EU immigration. However, with predictably less Europeans allowed to work in our cities without applying to do so, will this impact both the economic potential and the vibrancy of our cities?

In the short term, the impacts may be small, as EU migrants currently in the country are unlikely to be deported[1]. However, over a significant number of years, the impacts could be keenly felt. As non-UK nationals leave the UK, and UK nationals have less opportunity to live abroad, this is likely to result in a significant reduction of cultural and ethnic diversity caused by reduced free movement of people. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: how do we create prosperity for all?

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Greg Pearce

How has Milton Keynes succeeded where other ‘new towns’ have struggled?

A prosperous place to live effectively means that there are a wide range of employment opportunities available to all groups of people. This should be achieved at the same time as facilitating an inclusive and hospitable environment in which to live, to ensure people are able to maintain a healthy and happy environment.

Milton Keynes is proving to meet this criterion; it was ranked the second best town/city to work in the UK[1] and has seen the highest growth in jobs out of the 64 biggest towns and cities in the UK over the last decade[2] .Specifically, 24,000 jobs have been created since 2003. Milton Keynes is clearly growing, and attracting a wide range of businesses, including firms such as KPMG, PwC and Deloitte, who have chosen to locate secondary offices in Milton Keynes, as well as John Lewis and Waitrose at a flagship logistics park at Magna Park. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: How do we create a collective vision for all?

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Naomi Williamson

Will the Sustainable Development Goals unify city leaders? 

Following the recent meeting of the UN General Assembly, the community of world leaders has met to iron out the details of the international development agenda to 2030 – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals are a sequel to the Millennium Development goals which ran from 2000-2015 with the overarching aim to eradicate global poverty and inequality. The SDGs have global poverty at their centre but focus on a much wider range of issues, spanning 17 goals from quality education to responsible consumption and production.

There is added interest for a wide range of urban practitioners this time around as the importance of cities as a tool for social and economic success and wellbeing is very much on the map. For example, Goal 11 focuses for the first time on sustainable cities and communities – and although the goals have traditionally focused on developing countries, the targets for 2030 are ambitious for more developed countries as well. Read more »

Smart Cities - David Lock Associates

Beyond the numbers: How do we create movement for all?

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Joe Carr

Driverless cars, are these the answer to our growing transport need?

Over the last few years, there have been significant forward steps regarding the production and use of driverless cars both in the UK and in the USA. In the UK, trials have been undertaken in Milton Keynes following the publishing of The Pathway to Driverless Cars[1] by the Department for Transport in February 2015. Across the pond, Google have undertaken on-the-road trials across California, Texas, Arizona and Washington[2], and the U.S. Department of Transportation has committed to producing a regulatory framework to support the use of the cars[3]. Read more »

Beyond the numbers: how do we create certainty for all?

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Charlie Brown

Temporary is the new permanent: Permitted Development rights are creating uncertainty and its impacts for LPA’s and our towns/cities are yet to be fully understood  

In 2011, we first heard of the Government’s ‘bold’ plan to boost the supply of housing by developing underused office stock and regenerating our town centres.

What emerged was a temporary permitted development right (limited to 3 years) for the conversion of offices to residential use introduced in 2013. It all seemed very sensible – converting underused office stock into a viable use that would provide a much needed, temporary boost in housing supply at a time of historically low delivery. The prior approval process, allowed a local authority to consider only transport and highways issues, contamination and flooding considerations. The time limited right brought a focus on converting vacant units.

Case law began to catch up as well; from April 2014, conditions could be reasonably attached so long as they related. It also reminded us that external works were not up for grabs – a permission that wasn’t a planning permission. Read more »