Small but significant: Exeter City Council’s energy measures

I didn’t pick it up at the time, but a recent Exeter City Council report reminds its readers that the Council won a national award earlier in the year for its Renewables and Energy Efficiency Programme.  The Local Government Chronicle’s Environment Award was won by the Council for an “ambitious programme of projects to achieveContinue reading “Small but significant: Exeter City Council’s energy measures”

We need new approaches to mobility, now

In a previous post I suggested that our mobility patterns – driven by past and current spatial and transport policies – were contributing significantly to a range of environmental and social problems.  I questioned whether incremental changes based on current transport models would deliver the radical changes needed if Exeter were to become a clean,Continue reading “We need new approaches to mobility, now”

A Tale of Two …urban extensions

In my post on the Compact City, I noted the different choices made by Freiburg and Exeter in their approaches to balancing the need to provide new homes against the need to protect the natural environment.  To illustrate how these choices played out in practice, what follows is a brief study of how the twoContinue reading “A Tale of Two …urban extensions”

Whose Vision is it anyway? Part 2

In a previous post I highlighted the flamboyantly named Greater Exeter Visioning Board, announced with a fanfare of trumpets and then shifted off into the dark shadows of proceedings held behind firmly closed doors.  This post reports the uncomfortable outcome of my further investigations. Having been told by Exeter City Council that the minutes ofContinue reading “Whose Vision is it anyway? Part 2”

Whose Vision is it anyway? Part 1

This post was originally published on http://www.petercleasby.com on 16 May 2016 It’s a truism that politicians (and not only politicians) love making good news announcements.  Even when they have to announce bad news, it’s always presented as positively as the spin doctors can manage.  Announcements which are then followed up by nothing at all areContinue reading “Whose Vision is it anyway? Part 1”

Good listening

A couple of recent events suggest that Exeter City Council may be starting to listen seriously to its communities after all. First, another bus station story.  While the new bus station is being built – and we all assume it will now go ahead – on the existing bus station site, there will need toContinue reading “Good listening”

The Freiburg Charter

Freiburg’s experience of becoming a green, sustainable city owes much to its governance and political continuity.  What is being achieved there has been distilled into 12 principles, developed by the City of Freiburg and the Academy of Urbanism.  Published in 2012, it is known as the Freiburg Charter, and I reproduce it below. There isContinue reading “The Freiburg Charter”

The Compact City

How Freiburg does it, Part 2 We tend to like compact cities.  Why?  Is it because compact is the antithesis of urban sprawl, which has negative connotations.  So negative in fact that fighting it was one of the original aims of the Council for the Preservation for Rural England [1], formed 90 years ago, subsequentlyContinue reading “The Compact City”

How Freiburg does it – Part 1

Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany It’s difficult not to feel a bit of an alien when even the regional paper, the Badische Zeitung, runs an article pointing out that England has exited both the Euro football competition as well as the EU.  On the plus side, everyone I’ve dealt with has responded in German, not English, to myContinue reading “How Freiburg does it – Part 1”

Let’s support the thinkers

Change – particularly difficult or contested change – needs a clear purpose if it is to stand any chance of acceptance.  Why should I leave my comfy car at home and stand on a freezing railway station waiting for a delayed and crowded train?  Why should I turn down the central heating in those partsContinue reading “Let’s support the thinkers”