Monthly Archives: September 2014

Urban post-2015 UN sustainable development goal update

CIMG0330The ‘urban’ goal remains in the list that the UN general assembly is considering this week. As long as it gets through, then adoption next year should be a formality, unless some country really wants to make an issue about it. As not much information is available about this, and it is an issue that is very relevant for planners and other built environment professionals, I am posting here the current list of 17 proposed goals and also the targets being developed for Goal 11, the ‘urban’ goal. Many thaks to Christine Platt and the Commonwealth Association of Planners for this update and all their hard work to get the goal this far. Read more on Urban post-2015 UN sustainable development goal update…

Might territorial cohesion be the answer to the UK’s constitutional crisis following the Scottish referendum?

IMAG0112The last week here in UK has been dominated by the referendum on Scottish independence. Although the “No” side won by a clear margin (55/45%) the issues behind the referendum have not disappeared, and now there is a political discussion at Westminster about devolution across the UK. Meanwhile, last Wednesday I was speaking in Colwyn Bay at an ESPON on the Road  event that focused on small towns in Wales. In my presentation I drew on EU data that shows why the UK now faces a crisis of territorial cohesion. Read more on Might territorial cohesion be the answer to the UK’s constitutional crisis following the Scottish referendum?…

Planning on the West Bank (2): Land, water and people

Today I have been to Nablus and followed the River Jordan down to Jericho. I have spoken to a conference, eaten falafel in the bazaar, talked with the most remarkable mayor I have ever met, and come to better understand the significance of water and land in this arid regions. The more I try, the harder it becomes to untangle the issues that are preventing planning in the West Bank from delivering safe, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable settlements.

New settlement

New settlement

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Planning in the West Bank

RAMALLAHI am writing this blog from East Jerusalem. I have been invited over here by the UN-Habitat team based in Ramallah on the Israeli Occupied West Bank of the Jordan. The purpose of the visit is to learn about how planning is practised here, and what might be down to make it a more equitable, fair and transparent process. The visit is linked to a DFID-funded project that is trying to remove the logjam which is preventing Palestinian villagers from developing.

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Buildings of Empire

SPEL027My summer holiday reading has been “Buildings of Empire” by Ashley Jackson. As the title suggests, this is a grand tour around landmark examples of the built environment legacy of the British Empire. Twelve fluently written chapters take us from Dublin Castle to the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore, before returning the reader to the Empire Stadium at Wembley.
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