The (city) centre cannot hold

Exeter councillors’ unanimous decision to reject the application for the Moor Exchange retail park suggests they have not grasped the changes in the city’s retail  environment nor the significance of the eastward spread of housing.   On Monday 13 March Exeter City Council’s Planning Committee unanimously disagreed with their officers’ recommendation to give outline planning … More The (city) centre cannot hold

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.  Put … More Put out some flags!

High Street Greens

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

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 consequent … More Reclaiming our main roads for residents

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 achieve … More Small but significant: Exeter City Council’s energy measures

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 is … More The Freiburg Charter