Monday, 1 February 2010

Green belt

I enjoyed Centre for Cities' comment on the CPRE report on the Green Belt.

CPRE argue that we should do more to maintain and improve existing Green Belt land. Centre for Cities respond that building on a relatively small amount of it could do a lot to help solve housing supply problems (and provide some nice football pitched based statistics to make this point). Unsurprisingly, I am with Centre for Cities on this one.

One, minor disagreement: Centre for Cities suggest "Green belts have largely succeeded in their primary aim, to contain urban sprawl". While that may be true at the level of individual areas there is an argument to be made that looking more widely Green belts encourage leap frog development and longer commutes - i.e. the fast growth of satellite towns simply gives us sprawl by proxy.