• Et tu, Brutalist?
    So, it’s farewell to Owen Luder, doyen of the Brutalist Movement – architects who designed buildings for brutes. Most will remember him for his legacy of awful, inhuman buildings like the “Get Carter” carpark in Gateshead, the Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth or even the “Dunston Rocket” tower flats also in Gateshead. Many have now been rightly consigned to history, despite […]
  • The New Enclosure of the Ox–Cam ‘Arc’?
    Smart Growth UK has previously highlighted the artificial nature of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, whose proponents promote it as a cohesive area. It is not a “region” like East Anglia, the Midlands or the South East/Home Counties. It doesn’t fit into sub-regions such as the South and East Midlands, or Greater London. It has no Anglo-Saxon equivalents such as Mercia, Wessex […]
  • Peace in our time? Don’t bank on it
    Climate change means we stand at a key moment in history, one on which future generations will judge us – if there’s anyone around left to judge. Prime minister Boris Johnson likes to compare himself with another PM who stood on “the hinge of fate”, Winston Churchill. But the way things are going, the Government’s increasingly weak approach to climate […]
  • Housing affordability – it’s more than rent or prices
    Housing affordability is about so much more than rents or house prices. If England’s National Planning Policy Framework were to be believed, housing affordability would mostly be about local house prices, rents and incomes. Planning Practice Guidance only expands this a bit, with vague stuff about households who are homeless or in temporary, overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation. And, of course, […]
  • A Revised Green Dictionary
    There was an old man who said, “Green is the way to be favourably seen. Use all the right words for the nimbys and nerds but change what they actually mean.” Language has moved on since the American writer Ambrose Bierce published his Devil’s Dictionary over a hundred years ago. With his alternative definitions he shed new light on widely […]