Vision on

Exeter City Council’s Chief Executive has given an important and valuable lead in setting a new direction for the city. The Legacy Like many other English towns and cities Exeter’s growth and development has been erratic, sometimes managed and sometimes not.  The post-war reconstruction of the High Street was actively managed by the current council’sContinue reading “Vision on”

Put out some flags!

Two important decisions this month show that Exeter City Council could at last be facing up to the real challenges confronting the city. First, building more homes After a long – very long – gestation period in the shadows, the Council’s proposal to set up a housing development company has burst into the sunlight.  PutContinue reading “Put out some flags!”

Reclaiming our main roads for residents

It’s not only our side streets that can be made people-friendly Traffic restraint on residential streets is not new – humps, speed limits, barriers, residents’ parking schemes, pedestrianisation, and so on.  Some of these measures have become discredited because of their impact on driving behaviour: for example speed humps encourage breaking and acceleration with consequentContinue reading “Reclaiming our main roads for residents”

Up for a transport challenge?

The Exeter City Futures challenge fund approach to making the Exeter area congestion-free is not for the faint-hearted. Exeter City Futures (ECF) is a community interest company with a mission to make Exeter and the surrounding area sustainable for the future.  Their first goals are to make the area congestion-free and energy-independent by 2025.  NotContinue reading “Up for a transport challenge?”

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”

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”