There are many examples of what can be achieved
Localities across the UK and around the world are facing similar issues. In recent years many have shown the way by embarking on the creation of inspiring long term visions of their future within which all new developments can be aligned and enabled to contribute to the bigger picture. These are just a few examples of what can be achieved:
or our twin city Freiburg
and the basic principles are well set out in the CABE website
Development initiatives are not discouraged. On the contrary, appropriate new development becomes the engine for achieving the vision. The big difference is that each development can be tailored into the larger plan and, as well as delivering its specific benefits, it can contribute something to realising the long term goal. And that benefits developers too; plans can leverage all activity behind continuous improvement in the prosperity and quality of life of the locality from which everyone gains.
It all starts with the creation of the vision. Such exercises are large scale and embrace the inputs of many external experts: urban master-planners, traffic specialists, environmental designers, and engineers. At the heart of the process however is a thorough and broad reaching engagement with all parts of the local community. This is key to success. The needs and creative aspirations of everyone can be matched against the realistic possibilities identified by the experts to enable the community to choose a bold new future direction for itself. This can embrace all aspects of life in the town, typically including:
- Radically rethinking traffic management
- Improving the quality of the built environment
- Getting the activity mix of the town right for everyone who lives and works there
- Opening up space and routes that prioritise people over cars and improve the quality of life
- Underpinning the towns social and cultural life
- Making it a great destination for visitors without them clogging up the town
- Creating clarity about the infrastructure and facilities that will be needed in future
- Investing wisely in sustainability in all aspects of the towns development
You’re probably thinking that this isn’t going to be a quick job and it probably won’t be cheap. But those localities who have taken it on have found the effort and cost involved quickly seems very small compared to the enormous benefits that can be achieved.