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Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism
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Neil Murphy Feed Your Curiosity Sustainable Urbanism

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  • 1. 2/12/2010 Sustainable urbanism Context Why sustainable urbanism? Defining qualities & characteristics Why it hardly happens, and how it can Some thoughts and issues for Newcastle Rising population Between 1980 and 2002, Increasing consumption energy use in the thirty MACROTREND richest countries rose by Increasing resource use 23%... Falling water tables ...in the years 2000 to Shrinking cropland 2006, the rate of global Shrinking rangeland CO2 emission increases tripled... global CO2 is Declining soil quality increasing at over 3% MACROTREND Declining ocean fisheries per annum... Shrinking forests Worsening air quality Declining climate stability 1
  • 2. 2/12/2010 “In societies where income differences between rich and poor are smaller, the statistics show not only that community life is stronger and people are much more likely to trust each other, but also that there is less violence... that health is better and life expectancy is several years longer, that prison populations are smaller, birth rates among teenagers are lower, levels of educational attainment among school children tend to be higher, and lastly, there is more social mobility. In all cases, where income differences are narrower, outcomes are better” Richard Wilkinson, co-author, The Spirit Level 2
  • 3. 2/12/2010 “Across the richest 25 or 30 countries there is no tendency whatsoever for health to be better among the most affluent rather than the least affluent countries. The same is also true of levels of violence, teenage pregnancy rates, literacy and maths scores among school children, and even obesity rates. We have reached a level of development beyond which further rises in absolute living standards no longer reduce social problems or add to wellbeing.” Richard Wilkinson, co-author, The Spirit Level “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us” Winston Churchill “Place, it seems to me, is a much more empathetic way of talking about the environment, not least because it assumes humankind to be an embedded part of the environment rather than a species standing apart from the environment…” Jonathon Porritt We shaped space defensively and compartmentalised our lives – you don’t live where you work, work where you shop, shop where you live... ‘sense of place’ gave way to no place in particular: civility and interdependence is destroyed... In the hydrocarbon economy we valued mobility over accessibility, associating it with freedom and aspiration – and lack of it with poverty or failure – and shaped our environments accordingly 3
  • 4. 2/12/2010 Regeneration and economic opportunity were equated with Above all, we confused what’s good for business with what’s good property development; scale and concentration – the basis of for the economy, and what’s good for consumers with what’s good vigorous exchange of goods, services and ideas – was lost. for society... the ultimate failure of planning Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 2007 “We must learn to see that every problem that concerns us conservationists always leads to the question of how we live” Wendell Berry How shall we live? 4
  • 5. 2/12/2010 Technotopia? ...or back to the future? “Neighbourhoods, towns and cities were invented to facilitate exchange. Exchange of information, friendship, material goods, culture, insights, skills and also the exchange of emotional, psychological and spiritual support. For a truly sustainable environment we must maximise this exchange while minimising the travel necessary to do it.” David Engwicht, Towards an Eco-city The upside of down: good Diversity, urbanism enables people to adaptability The good city live sustainably and well and continuity Ever-changing yet never- changing Urban and green Public and private Vibrant and quiet Doing Sustainable urbanism because... everything differently • Economic – it concentrates, promotes interaction and the easy contact and exchange (of stuff and of ideas) that characterises productive and successful places • Social – it reduces the realm of private difference and promotes the common good, where necessary trading- off individual please-yourself; it’s pro-poor and inclusive (at both ends) • Environmental – it grasps the limitations of the technology-replacement view of the ‘low-carbon economy’ and creates the conditions for genuinely sustainable culture 5
  • 6. 2/12/2010 Interlaken East Station Switzerland 6
  • 7. 2/12/2010 Urban & rural together – resilience and interdependence.... A culture of sustainability 7
  • 8. 2/12/2010 “Tell me, I forget Show me, I remember Involve me, I understand” From NIMBY to BANANA... What normally happens 1. Developer acquires land; professes commitment to “exciting new high-quality residential/ commercial/ mixed-use development” According to the consultancy firm Saint, 85% of 2. Developer appoints professional team British people are opposed to any form of new development where they live 3. Professional team designs policy-compliant scheme 4. Team meets planners and a few other gatekeepers 5. Public exhibition is held – whizzy CGI, smiling faces, no cars... PUDDLE 6. Submits planning application 7. Builds (unsustainable) rubbish 8
  • 9. 2/12/2010 Beyond Green placemaking projects 2002-2010 From • Harlow North (28,000) • 2012 Olympic Legacy (10,000) • West Southall (4,000) • Rugby Radio Station (6,200) to • Stanton Ironworks (5,000) • 4 years strategic advice to New East Manchester URC • Community Enquiry for S&N brewery site, Newcastle • Competition for Irvine Harbourside, West of Scotland (800) • Walker Riverside Community Enquiry • Etc, etc... In a nutshell: • BlueLiving Ltd established in 2006 to promote and deliver large- • High-quality, sustainable mixed-use development costs more scale residential-led, mixed-use sustainable developments in the upfront but offers better longer-term returns UK • Upfront land prices destroy viability – so find owners/partners • Joint Venture with UK commercial property fund Development with patience willing and able to share in longer-term value Securities plc - £10m fund for initial site acquisition (via option or creation stake) and promotion • Retain some ownership to profit from medium-to-long term • Current projects value growth (vested interest) – ‘estate’ model - Pincents Hill, Reading – 750 homes - North East Norwich – 4,000+ homes over 25 years • Work at scale – units of walkable urbanism - a.n.other – 6,000+ homes in negotiation... Pincents Hill: scheme summary • Compact mixed-use walkable neighbourhood • 750 homes in a range of types, sizes and tenures, including 35% affordable; generous volumes • Productive roofs for energy, food growing, outdoor eating and ecology • Comprehensive mixed-use strategy including hotel/restaurant, business centre, library, health centre, primary school • Adaptable buildings to allow increased local retail and commercial uses over time & housing responsive to residents’ changing needs 9
  • 10. 2/12/2010 Pincents Hill: scheme summary (cont.) • “Car freedom” strategy for sustainable transport including localised mixed-use, excellent cycle & pedestrian connections, new bus route, 50-space car club, electric car facilities, strict parking ratio & leased permit parking • CHP energy network with biomass boilers and solar PV for 17% of electricity demand – overall 60% renewable energy – managed by on-site ESCo Detailed Cameo of Block N7 10
  • 11. 2/12/2010 10 tenets of sustainable urbanism 1. What’s the purpose of development - “how shall we live?” 2. A process: it starts from the city’s values, self-image and way of thinking 3. Because of reciprocal determinism we have to involve people (rather than ‘engage’ them or ‘consult’ them) in understanding and deciding how 4. Its organising imperative is the movement economy – and in the best cities the walking economy – and the economic, social and cultural outcomes it makes possible 5. Cardinal characteristics of city planning: compactness, connectedness and diversity 6. Diversity x4: in the (walkable) neighbourhood, the (fine-grained) block, the (adaptable) building, the (mixed) community – take anyone out and the whole piece falls short 7. The public realm: the business incubation space of any good city 8. Importance of the ‘good ordinary’ – not just icons + housebuilders 9. Whole-life values and patient finance – new development model needed 10. Get all this right and then (and only then) ‘sustainable design’ has true value Implications • What kind of society, and what kind of ‘competitiveness’? Catch-up, or new paradigm? • ‘Business friendly’ or economy friendly? • Movement across the Tyne, and consequentials... • Big projects vs the great ordinary... • New development economics and the role of the public sector • Regional and city-regional relations • How to systematise... In the middle of the road, you get knocked over neil@beyondgreen.co.uk www.beyondgreen.co.uk www.blueliving.co.uk 11

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