Thursday, September 17, 2020

Wild back better

I don't want this blog post to divert attention from the invitation to join a planning workshop (see previous post) or the need to respond to the Planning for the Future consultation I should say that the Ministry have failed to reply to my request for information about where 'embodied' or construction' carbon is being addressed? This is greater than operational carbon and is emitted in the next decade (rather than the next 60years) during which it will be most important to reduce emissions.

So "wild back better" is the reposte to "build back better" that is the slogan banded about by the PM and his government. If "build" applies to communities and (social) businesses well and good.  But the PM clearly has high speed rail, roads, runways and millions of new houses on his mind.  HS2 will be in carbon deficit (construction carbon exceeding theoretical saving compared with competing air and road travel along the route) for a hundred years.  The construction carbon in an expansion of Heathrow would overshoot carbon budgets when any concrete and cement should be reserved for building hospitals and houses.

HS2 is being particularly damaging to ancient woodlands and other natural features/landscapes. Similarly with airport expansions and the £27billion road building programme.  David Attenborough was on TV this week describing the scale of the devastation to the biosphere but the Government ploughs on.  There has been a growing awareness of the concept of re-wilding (or just 'wilding' as Isabella Tree prefers) and  "wild back better" is a slogan that describes this movement. WBB mimicks the Government's rallying cry but, in a word, points to what should be the priority for the sake of the planet and our survival.

Don't forget to respond to Planning for the Future, and say if you want to join a planning workshop

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Planning forum, class or workshop

For the last ten years I have been running planning classes and workshops to examine the concept of land use planning and the way in which it is being practiced in England.  I am thinking of running this on line and this blog post is to see whether there is any interest from 'followers' and other readers in meeting regularly on Zoom to share knowledge and experience of the planning system(s)? 

I am thinking of 1hr long sessions on a weekly basis (probably on a Sunday evening) during which I would introduce a topic that would have been mailed out in advance, followed by Q&A. I normally hold a 'media watch' for people to describe and discuss what they have seen in the media in the last week. There could also be presentations from the 'class' to try out concepts and ideas.  I am not proposing any assessments but there could be scope for articles or collective action when responding to consultations.

If 20 people send an 'expression of interest' to explaining why they would like to join and where they live (and whether Sunday evening would rule them out), I will set up a Zoom account and send an email with starting instructions. If more than 20 express an interest I could hold a waiting list or run another class.