No Time to Lose in Creating a Plan for the Future; Urban Planning Is the Art of Creating Spaces and Communities in Which People Are Attracted to Live, Work and Play in a Safe and Inclusive Place, Says Lois Lovely of GVA Grimley

Article excerpt

AKEY aspect to developments in our cities is urban renewal and regeneration in areas which have suffered long-term infrastructural decay.

Urban planning should enhance the physical, social and economic environment and, above all, be sustainable.

In the late 20th century, the term sustainable development came to represent an ideal outcome in the sum of all planning goals. Not since World War Two has there been a greater need for collaborative working of urban planners with a determination to deliver sustainable communities.

A coherent approach with strategic provision of infrastructure, making use of the public funding that remains, is essential to kick-start private sector development as the market recovers.

Now is the time to put in place innovative development frameworks and masterplans that will meet social and economic needs, are responsive to context, climate change and depletion of the global finite resources, yet are realistic, deliverable and achievable.

In the 10-year period of plenty up to October 2007, when Northern Rock fell, development schemes that were speculative, micro-designs planned in isolation were ad hoc and profligate.

From such schemes, the provision of infrastructure, play space, sustainable transport and more was met by developer contributions through section 106 agreements. Even without a recession, the developers would have called a halt to this practice.

Without a masterplan, the use of such contributions by councils has often been uncoordinated. …