Wednesday, 15 August 2018 01:48

Young Commonwealth planners win prizes

The Commonwealth Association of Planners has announced the winners of its Young Planners essay competition. The topics addressed by the winners were how to plan for better care of an aging population, and the nature of place-making.

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Friday, 11 August 2017 09:49

A creeping privatisation of public space?

Might plans for a make-over for Edinburgh's West Princes Street Gardens lead to a partial privatisation of an iconic public space?

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The first issue of a new journal gives insights to new ways of thinking about cities.

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Public spaces are integral to healthy and prosperous cities. This was the theme of  a major conference last week in the run-up to next year's Habitat III global summit. Place-making needs to be seen as contributing to the 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

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Ideas for reviving flagging public markets as places to shop, eat and meet were presented by experts at an international conference in Barcelona this week. With many public markets struggling to adapt to changing patterns of shopping the need for design and innovation has never been stronger, and the answer lies in creating a sense of place.

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A wide-ranging review of the research literature reveals that living in an environment with plentful greenery seems to be associated with a number of indicators of good health. The study reveals what the authors say is "fairly strong evidence"  that there is a positive association between greenness and physical activity.

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Spending a couple of days in Tel Aviv has enabled me to walk through the part of the town that was designed by Sir Patrick Geddes in the 1920s. The legacy of that plan is still evident today in what has become Israel's main gateway city.  Can some of Tel Aviv's dynamism be traced back to Geddes vision? What are the lessons for today's planners?

Thursday, 14 May 2015 06:15

Reviving town centres

Look at your town centre as a network of gardens, a promenade, a stage and be prepared to be outrageous. This was the advice given by Julian Dobson to meeting of the Scottish Towns Partnership in Edinburgh. He stressed the need to challenge the existing narratives about town centres which are too often about decline and narrowly focussed on retailing.

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