Urban Update 9 August 2019




9 August 2019


·       Air pollution and asthma

·       Therapeutic cities

·       Planning Practice Guidance updated

·       Career opportunities

·       National Urban Design Conference – opportunity for people with radical and innovative ideas to get involved in the poster session

·       September events list – updated


News and Research

Natural Environment

Stop abusing land, scientists warn

For example, the draining of peat bogs for farming turns them from CO2 sinks to CO2 emitters.



EU agriculture not viable for the future



Monoculture farming is not good for bees: Study

Monoculture crops contribute to soil erosion and increased fertilizer and pesticide use; pollinators cannot keep up with demand from pollinator-dependant crops e.g. soy beans. 



Built Environment

When council estates were a dream

On an ‘80s shift in the perception of council housing, explored through Wythenshawe estate families.



England's seaside towns where young people might disappear

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government acknowledges coastal communities “comparatively more deprived” and responds with regeneration funding plans.



Energy and Climate Change

Just 10% of fossil fuel subsidy cash 'could pay for green transition'

IMF estimates that ending the subsidies would cut global emissions by about a quarter, but could cause short-term price rises and political difficulties.



First climate assembly in UK draws up wish-list for council action

Participants say the process itself is a breath of fresh air, helping to address not just the crisis in the environment but the crisis in democracy too.



Committee on Climate Change: UK’s climate crisis preparations being run “like Dad’s Army”

Government has delivered just one policy action out of 25 recommended by the Committee in 2018. Problems include homes overheating in more frequent heatwaves, and flash flooding particularly affecting urban areas.



Half of UK local authorities declare a climate emergency in just eight months

Some have chosen a 2030 target, others such as Kent, a leisurely 2050 target.



Climate crisis: can councils deliver on bold promises to cut emissions?

Targets, plans and actions of Stroud council, Gloucestershire, Nottingham city council, Oxford city council and Bristol city council. Obstacles include development demands, planning laws and austerity.



Global heating: London to have climate similar to Barcelona by 2050

Climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, but countries are  not investing in making urban infrastructure more resistant.



Twelve centuries of European summer droughts

Study implies climate models may overestimate drought risk in parts of northern Europe, while underestimating flood risks from excessive precipitation.



'Green' taxes: an analysis of climate policy effectiveness



Promising new solar-powered path to hydrogen fuel production



Humans, Health, Society

How cities can cause or alleviate stress



The easier and safer it is to get to a park, the more likely people are to visit the park frequently

Don’t create parks that are cut-off by road corridors



Fast-food availability near commute route linked to BMI



Dutch council forces playground to close over noise complaints



How intelligence, population density, and friendship affect modern happiness

Article proposes savanna theory of happiness, suggesting that a given situation has ancestral consequences that affect individuals’ life satisfaction.



Building therapeutic cities to tackle mental health problems – experts discuss

Are solutions to be sought through radical social movements and system change, or through therapeutic policies applied in a neoliberal framework?



Air pollution linked to childhood asthma cases in Europe

Meeting the air pollution levels for NO2, PM2.5 and Black Carbon), was estimated to prevent (23%), (33%) and (15%) of cases of asthma.




Painted bike lanes ‘a waste of public money’, Britain's cycling commissioners say

Australian study reveals that painted cycle paths encourage drivers to overtake more closely.



Active travel: challenge of increasing levels of walking and cycling in England

A House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on Government’s 2017 Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans and funding for active travel.



Evaporating traffic? Impact of low-traffic neighbourhoods on main roads

Addresses concerns that low-traffic neighbourhoods may lead to increased congestion and air pollution on mains roads. Reports positive outcomes of low-traffic neighbourhoods in Walthamstow Village.



Air Quality Expert Group calls for urgent action on air pollution from tyres and brakes



Politics, Philosophy, Economics

International development vs. conservation? Economic growth benefits wildlife but growing human populations do not

As living standards rise people become less dependent on natural resources and environmental regulation tightens. However, importing could increase, the impact of which would fall on wildlife elsewhere.




Planning practice guidance updated

Updated sections are: Appropriate Assessment, Consultation and Pre-decision matters, Effective use of land, Green Belt, Healthy and Safe Communities, Historic Environment, Housing and economic land availability assessment, Housing and economic needs assessment, Housing needs of different groups, Housing supply and delivery, Natural Environment, Noise, Town centres and Retail, Use of Planning Conditions



National Urban Design Conference 2019

26.27.28 September - Birmingham

Making People-Friendly Places

·        Design Quality Summit  - now 2/5ths booked

·        Urban Design Fest

·        Main Conference

  • Making People Friendly Towns and Cities
  • Frameworks and Strategies for People Friendly Places
  • Designing with and for People: Understanding Human Need and Behaviour
  • Designing with and for People: Towards Urban Environments that Work
  • Paying for and Profiting from People Friendly Places

·        Guided Walks

·        Conference Dinner

·        Exhibition


Sponsored tickets available for Local Authority / Public Sector from just £35 thanks to support from:


GreenBlue Urban





Boyer Planning

Glenn Howells Architects





Take part in the Conference’s Poster Session

Do you have a great idea on how to transform cities or streets?  Or meet the challenges of the climate emergency?  Or some innovation that would make places truly people friendly? 

This is your chance to get your idea noticed.

Send a poster illustrating designs, products, visions, views or just crazy ideas for the unimaginable, futuristic or innovative, which are free from any constraints.

  • A sample of entrants will be chosen to give 2 minute presentations at the Urban DesignFest on Thursday 26 September at a session chaired by Paj Valley
  • All entrants will receive a 25% discount to the member price ticket for entrance to the National Urban Design Conference Friday 27 September session, and will be invited to display their poster on the UDG website, and a further selection invited to bring their A2 posters for display in the main exhibition area of the conference.

If you would like to take part please send your entry as soon as possible  to: Administration@udg.org.uk Include your name, organisation, contact details and title of your poster. Pdf no larger than 5MB please.


Deadline midnight, Thursday 5 September 2019

Urban Nous videos


Improving the Process used to identify land for development - New

Paul Reynolds, Urben


Why are well conceived urban design masterplans so rarely realised?

Katja Stille, Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design


Making People Friendly Big Streets - Redesigning a City Street

Ian Hingley, Urban Movement


Creating Neighbourhoods not Housing Estates - Introduction

Noha Nasser


Councillors’ Attitudes to Residential Design

Matthew Carmona


Is the quality of design an economic issue?

David Rudlin


Scores of recorded urban design lectures kindly provided by Fergus Carnegie.

2019 Events


Parking Conference

17 Sep 2019 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm

National Urban Design Conference 2019


City Resilience  & BS67000

16 October  (diary date)


Transport for New Homes


New housing and public transport: making the connection
Mon 9 September 2019, 6pm – 8pm
The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL


Historic Towns and Villages Forum


Buxton: Resilient Cultural Heritage & the Role of the Visitor Economy

Thursday 17th October 2019

York: Keyhole Surgery - Increasing the Capacity and Performance of Historic Centres

Thursday 21st November 2019




IHBC London Branch / CIfA London – HS2 in London & IHBC London Branch AGM

25 July - 14:00 - 16:55

The Gallery at Alan Baxter Ltd, 75 Cowcross Street


Urban Design London


Site Visit – Mini-Hollands Kingston

4th September

Design Review: the User’s Perspective

11th September



Academy of Urbanism

Design for Living conference – Watch online


Masterplanning, Scalability and Complexity

September 3 – University of Dundee


Centre for Cities


Cities – the First 6000 Years

3 September - London


Civic Voice



Future of London


Council-Led Housing Forum – Winning resident support23 July

24 September, 1.45-5.00 pm


Good Homes Alliance


Delivering Net Zero and Future Homes

19 November – London

Kent Design


Achieving Better Design – What Can Councillors Do?

10 September



Visit to Stratford, London Spotlight on key developments

September 2019


Landscape Institute


Empowering parks for the 21st Century

26th September – Birmingham

attend this and follow on with the National Urban Design Conference UrbanDesign Fest in the evening!


Museum of Walking


Walks continue through August


Nottingham Urban Room


Design Quality in Nottingham

20 August

Design Guide for Good Living

22 August

Community Engagement Guide Workshop

2 September


Place Alliance



Healthy City Design 2019

Designing for utopia or dystopia?
People and planetary health at a crossroads

Royal College of Physicians, London, UK,

14–15 October 2019





Urban Designer or Architect - DAP Architecture Ltd


Research Fellowship in the Built Environment - Royal Commission 1851

Urban Designer - Urban Green


Urban Designer - Planit-IE


Researcher, Architectural and Urban History (Heritage Team) - Montagu Evans

5 Bolton St, London W1J 8BA

Graduate (Historic Environment and Townscape), Planning and Development - Montagu Evans

Bolton Street, London, W1J 8BA

Town Planner / Senior Town Planner - Tibbalds


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