Original blogs on CliffHague.com

A new report provides a fascinating summary of how the European Union's Cohesion Policy became a means of enforcing orthodox macro-economic policies rather prioritising territorial cohesion.

Place-based innovation is vital to making cities more inclusive, but much depends on local leadership.

News from Sierra Leone that 9,000 slum dwellers have been made homeless by demolition of their homes highlights the need for planners to fundamentally rethink conventional approaches to housing the poor.

The 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted by governments at the United Nations next week pose a direct challenge and opportunity for planning and other built environment professionals.

The national professional body representing planners across Canada, the Canadian Institute of Planners, is facing an existential crisis. Its future is on a knife edge.

In smaller towns across the UK and many other countries, the town centres are struggling. Julian Dobson, has a barrowful of ideas of what to do about it. His book How to Save Our Town Centres is the best starting point I know for those who want to combine analysis with action. It is well researched, well-informed and refreshingly creative. It deserves an international audience. Much of the analysis is UK-focused, but there are plenty of non-UK examples of innovative responses to the problems of town centres.

Zlin is an outstanding example of a town inspired by 20th century functionalist architecture. This classic company town was a product of the Bata shoe company, its "home town" that the company then mimicked across the continents. It survived Communism, and now a finely balanced conflict is taking place between conservation and  consumer capitalism.

The spatial impacts of the bailout deals forced on Greece have yet to be fully assessed. However, the early indications are that they will have negative impacts on small and medium sized enterprises which are so important in small towns and rural regions, and also on local food networks.

Seek the truth, speak the truth, defend the truth, live in truth. In my presentation to the closing session of the Association of European Schools of Planning annual congress, I drew on traditional Czech ideals to shape some messages for planners and planning educators. This blog provides an extended version of what I said.

Amidst all the media coverage of the Greek debt crisis, little attention has been paid to the contribution that local and regional economic development can make to building competitiveness. Of course, the macro-economic policies pursued throughout the long crisis have been formidible barriers to growth. However, the counter-narrative from the enforcers of austerity is that the Greeks have only themselves to blame, even to the point where they need to be punished for electing the "wrong" government and delivering the "wrong" referendum result. Similarly, no media correspondents seem to have strayed far from Athens. Therefore this blog looks at a case study of one peripheral Greek region and traces its efforts to deliver innovation-led growth.

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