Build back better: build back greener

“Are the government’s plans for ‘garden communities’ as environmentally-friendly as they sound?”

“How could developers be encouraged to build in a way which incorporates nature?”

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The government wants to build, build, build:

“We will build, build, build: build back better, build back greener, build back faster.”

PM Economy Speech: 30 June 2020 – GOV.UK

The ‘planning revolution’ in house building – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Exeter wants to build ‘garden communities’:

“Garden Communities” for Exeter – Vision Group for Sidmouth

How ‘liveable’ and how ‘green’ is the Exeter Garden City project? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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But will all these plans be ‘greener’ than previous housing developments?

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Transport for New Homes says that the new ‘garden communities’ will simply create more car traffic:

New garden towns ‘unsuitable’ for cycling and walking | General News

Garden Communities Archives – Transport for New Homes

Car-dependency Archives – Transport for New Homes

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So-called ‘zombie road schemes’ can now be activated together with new housing developments:

New UK housing ‘dominated by roads’ – BBC News

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The government is looking to Ebenezer Howard’s model of ‘garden cities’:

Garden city movement – Wikipedia

Welwyn Garden City celebrates centenary in 2020 – BBC News

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But the reality is rather different:

Garden villages locking-in car dependency, says report – BBC News

Garden towns and villages: Visions and reality

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And these housing policies contradict zero-carbon targets:

Building millions of new homes with a zero-carbon target is a contradiction – Property Industry Eye

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So, for ‘green space’ and ‘biodiversity net gain’, how can ‘green infrastructure’ and ‘building greener’ be put at the heart of new developments?

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The key is ‘building with nature’:

About — Building with Nature

How to Build Infrastructure the Sustainable Way

Building with Nature certification scheme, UK – Inside Ecology

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This week’s Costing the Earth on Radio 4 was in Bristol and looked at the issues:

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Build, Build, Build

With an ever greater demand for more housing, and Boris Johnson calling for the country to “build buld bulid” post lockdown, Peter Gibbs looks at current trends in house-building. Are the government’s plans for “garden communities” as environmentally-friendly as they sound? And how could developers be encouraged to build in a way which incorporates nature rather than squeezing it out?

Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Emma Campbell.

BBC Radio 4 – Costing the Earth, Build, Build, Build

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