Not long ago, an Exeter city councillor on the Executive said to me that he might be called old-fashioned but he saw it as his job, having been elected, to take the right decisions as he saw them. He was right: he is old-fashioned. Whether councillors like it or not, the paternalistic or top-down model … More Doing Council business differently: Part 2 – Leadership
In several previous posts, brought together in Can the Council be a leader?, I have illustrated why I believe Exeter City Council needs to change its political and administrative culture if it is to succeed in harnessing the energy and talents within the city to make it a truly liveable place in the 21st century. … More Doing Council business differently: Part 1 – Engagement
We can do so much better than the current High Street business model, and its current difficulties offer Exeter new opportunities There’s a lot of truth in the observation that Exeter’s city centre is a “clone town”. Along the length of the High Street and in the shopping centres at Guildhall and Princesshay, the retail … More High Street Greens
Surveys are not always reliable. Yet if you asked the usual representative sample how they liked to spend time, attending local authority committee meetings is unlikely to score highly. This is understandable. Public participation is strictly controlled. In Exeter, members of the public can submit questions (3 days in advance) to be asked at any … More Scrutiny can work
[This post is a slightly expanded and referenced version of a five-minute presentation I gave to the Exeter City Futures Spring Connect meeting on 8 March 2017.] There is resistance to high density housing. Perhaps it’s in the descriptor. More likely it’s memories of the poorly-designed high-rise blocks built in the 1960s and 1970s to … More How dense can we be?
Is transport really at the root of our urban sustainability problems? If we can come up with some innovative and deliverable approaches which challenge why and how we move around, does that unlock solutions to the other issues we face? The section of my personal vision of a future Exeter headed “Place” makes much of … More Tinkering with transport isn’t enough
Let’s move away from Exeter for a moment, into the wider world There should be no serious argument by now – but there is and will continue to be – that the world cannot go on as we are. Climate change is a real threat, though too few of us take it seriously . The … More We know what we need to do …