Posts Tagged: localism

Conserving Europe’s cultural heritage

How is heritage conservation across Europe faring in these difficult economic times? Last week I was at the Europa Nostra meeting in Lisbon, representing the Built Environment Forum Scotland. We heard some inspiring stories but also cause for concern.

Lisbon, where Europa Nostra met last week

Read more on Conserving Europe’s cultural heritage…

Localism in Japan: collaborative planning or rule by the courts?

For many the very idea of town planning is inextricably tied to a statutory system for regulation of development, operated by professionals. To non-professionals the procedures and rules are opaque. The attempt to impose uniform standards can be inequitable and self-defeating. Such planning is seen as top-down and technocratic. From the 1960s onwards, and particularly in the global South, there have been attempts to put into practice quite different forms of planning and place-making. Such initiatives are bottom-up and participatory, and tend to be focused around a wider range of priorities than are permitted within official planning legislation. In Japan this counter-movement is known as Machizukuri , and it is attracting a lot of attention. Read more on Localism in Japan: collaborative planning or rule by the courts?…

Planning for Growth: Innovation

There is a clear message that comes from the modern literature about competitiveness. In a knowledge economy, competitiveness is closely tied to innovation. However, innovation is not a linear process from men in white coats in laboratories through to a commercially successful product. Indeed many innovations that are brought to the market come from companies that do not have an R and D function. Rather innovation comes from multiple feedbacks, absorbing messages from customers, sharing tacit knowledge, a willingness to experiment. Thus regions can be important catalysts for innovation. How do we build these insights into plans for growth? Read more on Planning for Growth: Innovation…

Lessons in community planning from Australia

The Localism Bill in England is creating new Neighbourhood Development Plans. The bill will also provide powers to communities to bring forward a ‘community right to build’.  So this is a good time to distil  key messages from experiences with community planning, and an international perspective can help. Phil Heywood’s new book “Community Planning: Integrating Social and Physical Environments” is a good place to start. It includes a compelling case study of the practice of design-led local community involvement  in Northern Queensland. Read more on Lessons in community planning from Australia…

Planning in the USA – tweet for nicer, greener suburbs

The American Planning Association annual conference in Boston provided a fascinating insight into the concerns and perspectives of US planners. The angle that particularly caught my attention was the blitz of presentations and activities about how planners and developers can use social media and new information technology in their work. Whether you want to tweet, trip or ClickFix, or just browse in the urban interactive studio, the APA was the place to be. Or not to be, maybe that was the question, for you didn’t need to be in Boston to be connected to this virtual planners’ world. Read more on Planning in the USA – tweet for nicer, greener suburbs…

Cross-border development:learning from Newry-Dundalk twin city

Across the world, administrative boundaries, and particularly international borders, are blocks to economic development,  management of energy and conservation of natural resources. Rivers flow across frontiers, where flood prevention measures differ. National energy policies and grids constrain efficiency. Small towns split by a border struggle against larger economic hubs.  The culture of officialdom looks inwards. However, across Europe border barriers are being tackled through spatial planning and economic development. Local blinkers are being replaced by new forms of co-operation and policy-making. Read more on Cross-border development:learning from Newry-Dundalk twin city…