Tag Archives: Britain

Back to the Street | The Economist

Interesting article in The Economist about social housing in Britain.


“Research by Bill Hillier, a professor of architecture at University College London, suggests that the design of housing estates can contribute to social problems. He says there can be too many walkways, resulting in empty spaces where criminals can lurk. In a paper with Ozlem Sahbaz, based on five years of crime data in one London borough, he concludes that a higher density of people helps to deter crime (high-rises are often not as densely populated as medium-rise blocks built closer together), and that integration with streets, even full of strangers, is safer.”

Read the full article here: Back to the street | The Economist

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Shared Space | Ben Hamilton-Baillie | CNU22

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
Tommy Lee Jones, Men in Black

Everyone should watch Ben Hamilton-Baillie’s fantastic one-hour presentation below about shared space at CNU22. It’s a wonderful reminder that urban planners too often design for ‘dumb, panicky animals’ instead of the smart person. At the end of the video, someone in the audience asks a question that perfectly summarizes all that is wrong with urban planning and design in the United States, i.e. what if we get sued? As Poor Richard said, “There is more to life than trying to avoid being sued or going out of your way to sue somebody.” At the bottom is a 15-minute video “Poynton Regenerated”, which provides a shorter summary of Hamilton-Baillie’s arguments in the CNU22 presentation. Watch and learn…

Shared Space, Ben Hamilton-Baillie, CNU22

Poynton Regenerated

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Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 9

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,


81. “Gizmo Green” (Steve Mouzon) is often a vague promise to have your cake and eat it too by avoiding the real problem all together.

82. Hitler’s greatest devastation of British cities occurred after the war, courtesy of British town planners.

83. Americans consume land like prostitutes consume clients. These days, in both cases, the outcome is rarely as good as we imagined.

84. Parking is never a right or a privilege but should always be a pleasant surprise. Why do you want to take surprise out of our lives?

85. Having to take out the garbage by car is unnatural… and kinda disgusting.

86. Cul-de-sacs are not just about disconnecting streets. They are about disconnecting ourselves from the world around us. Isolation is their nature.

87. No man is a traffic island.

88. British town planners had already started devastating their cities before World War II. Hitler only sped up the process.

89. Fortune never knocks at the gates of a suburban community. It hides like a thief within…

90.  A pedestrian who never slows is in a hurry. A car that never slows is a harbinger of death.

The Issue 10 cometh soon!

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