Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Nihilistic selfishness": Part 2

Last summer, UK Planning Minister Greg Clark called opposition to changes in planning processes by the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England as "nihilistic selfishness." To me, the people who are "nihilistically selfish" are those who advocate for changes that could have devastating effect on rural landscapes and builtscapes . See the blog entry, "Nimbyism: Standing up for what's right or "nihilistic selfishness"?."

Yesterday, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the National Trust followed up on Minister Clark's criticism by releasing an economic study, ‘Inexpensive Progress? A framework for assessing the costs and benefits of planning reform’.

From the CPRE website:

The report, prepared by Vivid Economics, finds that although there have been a few studies of the costs of the planning system, the claims made on the back on them have been overstated - and very little has been done to measure the benefits that good planning delivers. It concludes that while there are costs in some sectors, there is no evidence that planning has large, economy-wide effects on productivity or employment and that the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is unlikely therefore to have much effect on growth.

It's typical that arguments concerning changes in policy are justified for their presumed positive impacts on growth and economic development, but often that is merely cover for various economic interests who have been advocating for the changes for a long period of time.

As Neil Sinden, director of policy for CPRE says in this article, "Planning reforms would not promote growth, says report," from the Independent:

"Effective planning should not be seen as a choice between growth or the environment. As this report argues, the aim of planning should be to secure long-term well-being."

The current issue of the CPRE magazine focuses on the issue of "planning reform" with these articles:

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home