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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
.. but is it time for a law to be passed where urban areas can no longer grow outwards?

I live on the Rotherham/Sheffield border and a few years ago there was a huge woodland seperating the two. But now, its just all one. If it wasn't for the sign 'Welcome to Rotherham' you wouldn't have a clue you've gone into a new borough.

How would banning urban sprawl affect our living too? Our city centres?

Discuss =)
 

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Just Relax
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I'm all for urban sprawl. The countryside is overrated anyway. Full of mud, animal shit and nasty biting insects.
 

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I would say yes, but English Nature are calling for the green belt to be 'more equitably and efficiently used'. Not only will this destroy the green belt it will bleed the city's dry of their vitality, ending up like some of those really badly sprawled american towns where culture and commerce can no longer be facilitated unless with a grant of a big box trading estate!

If we started looking properly at how cities should be developed then we have the opportunity to shrink (with regards to spatial impact, not population levels!) some of them.
 

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In the bog.
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When I see more and more development sprouting up on areas previously untouched it really reviles me. Sprawl, by its very nature is prosaic, internationally identical, and excruciatingly boring. Use city space better, preserve the countryside, and keep Britain, - Britain. (if you see what I mean)
 

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lime-hating shrublet
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Urban sprawl looks good for photographs and visiting big cities is great in moderation but I'd hate to actually live in the middle of it.

Give me medium-sized towns surrounded by countryside any day. :yes:
 

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Remember what happened last time the government came up with a policy to tackle urban sprawl!? Fucking scum of the earth new towns that ripped that heart out of the great cities of the UK and damaged them for hundreds of years to come!
 

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No. But let the countryside into the city, build corriders of green into urban sprawl and let the countryside sprawl back into the city.
 

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there are ways of doing this without having fields and stuff intruding into the urbanity. Arial greenways and millions of trees, roof gardens and climbers like ivy. These could link with the pocket parks and squares that are integral to good city form and living.

The last thing we need is green slithers sticking into the urban form.

When my Nan was young (pre WWI) she lived in downtown Everton, right at the heart of that mighty mercantile metropolis.... but the countryside, unmolestd by suburbs, was less than two miles away!
 

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BAND
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It really is about time some serious (and harsh) limits were put on how much 'sprawl' type development is allowed.

Obviously there will always be a demand for detached houses with gardens so it is inevitable they will get built, but we need to start working from our city centres outwards on increasing the density of our cities through well designed apartment blocks.

This doesn't mean building poxy little 1 bed apartments in the city centres that only a few people want to live in. It means a serious alternative to houses - something along the lines of the apartment blocks found in other densely populated european cities. Here's my points for how we need to be building:

- 2+ bed apartments, with at least one spare room other than the living area & bedrooms (I would love to live in the city centre, but even if living on my own I wouldn't want anything less than a 2 bed),

- Apartment blocks don't have to be tall and/or flash, but should all have good architectural merit,

- As an alternative to gardens (and to increase the greenary in our cities) there should be something along the lines of allotments on the roofs for the residents (doesn't have to be for all of the residents, just the option should be there)

- An affordable alternative to a house (Why the hell is it more expensive to build detached houses than decent sized apartments?)

- Underground car parking for one car per unit (I think we'll all agree that no cars per unit is ridiculous, but with decent transport connections - ok, that's a bit of a problem in itself - there is no need for more than one)

- There should be at least one 'retail' unit per street of these apartments

All of these will free up space for well maintained green and communal areas, increase the vibrancy of... well, just about everywhere, and free up the larger detached houses for those who need them.

I also think we should be looking at multi-occupancy houses - like they have a lot in Germany - where houses are detached, with gardens, but a different family lives on each (decent sized) floor.

Unfortunately the likelyhood of any of this happening under any current governments is immensely slim (and the transport links to go with them are just as slim).



On the other hand, sprawl isn't all bad... Sheffield is lucky in having some extremely nice low density suburbs, however these are well established (and have been for 100's of years) and don't consist of the modern 'estate' type sprawl.



And P.S. I don't mean we should go for overcrowding like in some of the pictures shown on whatever thread this got discussed in ages ago. I mean the type of density they have in say Paris, where buildings aren't overly tall so there is still a nice feel to the area (I love skyscrapers in city centres, but IMO suburbs made up of them are nearly as bad as sprawl), there is a great vibrancy to the areas and there are plenty of pocket parks (and big parks) etc.
 

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I don't think we should completely outlaw all building on greenbelt in order to prevent urban sprawl, as I think in certain cases when a through justification is proven, it should still be allowed. However the justification the applicant provides, as well as justifying the need to build on greenbelt, should also have to prove why brownfield sites within the nearest conurbation the development will serve cannot be used. (Perhaps the Planning Manager when writing his report could suggest sites, which the applicant would have to respond to). Sometimes a justification will present itself, and the development should be allowed to proceed, even if it contributes to urban spawl. But in general I think much more emphasis needs to be put on bringing brownfield sites back into use. Let's use the land we have, before carving up new land.
 

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The sprawl isn't even urban, it's not like we've got cities bursting at the seams with rapidly expanding populations. It's suburban and suburban is a blight on cities and the countryside.

If the massive growth of Cambridge and Milton Keynes takes place I hope they use a Paris model rather than a...Milton Keynes one!
 

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yeah, excellent point toad. What we see at the edge of our cities is not the onward march of our cities, but the evidence that we are continually bleeding our cities dry and diluting them.... and fucking the countryside in the process.
 

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It's Sting. So What?
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Yay! We need more of these:




 

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yeah, excellent point toad. What we see at the edge of our cities is not the onward march of our cities, but the evidence that we are continually bleeding our cities dry and diluting them.... and fucking the countryside in the process.
it's not even suburban sprawl of an inter-war nature either, ie rows of semis with bay windows feeding into a high street. at least that has a semblance of coherence to it.

the more modern suburban landscape is far more fractured, each new development has no relation to the ones around it. a cross section would look like this: cul-de-sac, random field, sprawling industrial park, slip roads, motorway, random fields, carpark, TESCO, winding streets of houses accesible by one entrance and exit, haulage depot, wasteland, cul-de-sacs and so on.

so instead of a blanket of relatively compact sprawl you have loads of small development islands cut off from one another, connected by roads in a vague archipelago that truely severs the countryside from the 'real' city and eats up more land than it used to.

i think in part this may be an unwitting knock-on effect of the strategy to protect the greenbelt. instead of building right on the city-fringes, new development leaps right over the greenbelt area and builds around the edges of existing small towns and villages that surround the city at small distances. they're not even suburbs in the normal sense, they're... exurbs. this is a process that started with the autocentric new towns in the 60s built at a reasonable distance from the old cities from which they plundered their new populations and is now accelerating.

two examples from around Newcastle. the first one really has no excuse as it is right next to a newly built Metro Station. look at how far you'd have to drive to get between two houses right next to each other. though i suppose at least in this example you can walk it if you fancy going over a muddy field underneath an electricity pylon.



typical business/industrial park. masses of wasted land between each building or piece of infastructure, voids that really serve no purpose.

 

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Shocking that Johnny, Metro stations should be encouraging developments that get as many people and business within a 5/10 walk, yes walk not a park and ride (another countryside killer), to the stations. That sort of density won't support the stop as a stand alone, in the future stops with that sort of local popualtion will probably end up closing or being run down as the economic case for retaining them won't exist. But the idiots in charge will probably build more cul de sac estates with car parking and link them with dual carriages ways to large surface car parks next to the stop. That in turn will have the locals moaning about traffic at peak hours, pollution and danger to kids while the park and riders will moan about soaring diesel prices!

That stuff is disgusting Erebus, squalid, soul destroying shite. We don't need slums or tower blocks in 'parks', we need streets, connected districts, mixed economic and social neighbourhoods. Think Paris, Madrid, Barcelona.
 

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had a quick look on google images as there is a generic sketch of bad urbanism that Roberta Gratz has in 'Cities Back from the Edge' that looks just like that real image jonny put up!!! No luck though.

I DID find this link however
http://www.planetizen.com/node/23300
Some interesting ideas, though global warming should not be a reason, fuel efficiency and the braoder environmental impact of fossil fuel dependence yes.

The reason this caught my eye was I though that the main picture was of the overhead railway in olde downtowne lyvypule!
 

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aargh! Yes...that stuff is the city killer!
The city killer is not the sprawl but the cul-de-sacs.

You mention Everton but it's rows of terraces, jiggers, cobbled streets etc are just milltown on a grander scale. Quaint in a way but vunerable to abandonment, like a village in a declining rural area.

Look at New York and it's more interesting areas are it's low rise inner suburbs especially in Brooklyn. That's where New York's culture comes from.



Borough Park, Brooklyn. Definitely urban sprawl.
 
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