The latest from the Civic Trust.
Streetscapes and Traffic Management
You may be aware that the Department for Transport has issued Local Transport Note 1/08, which builds on the 2007 Manual for Streets and encourages design teams to "minimise the various traffic signs, road markings and street furniture associated with traffic management schemes." It represents a useful step in the DfT making streetscape and urban design an important factor in street design. Highways people are urged to use judgement and not be over-reliant on regulations - the Notes states that "in reality, highway and planning authorities may exercise discretion in developing and applying their own local policies and standards", and cites a range of case studies.
You may find it useful if you need to secure modifications to over-regulated traffic schemes. Hard copy costs �22 but it can be downloaded for free here.
Whilst we have been busy producing a new website for Civic Societies nationally we have also been receiving queires from Civic Societies interested in making their own sites. Although www.civicsocieties.org.uk enables Societies to edit the information on their page and upload pictures if you are looking to design a complete site their are a number of optinos that have come to our attention.
Mr Site is an easy to use professional website builder which comes complete with hosting and bandwidth, email addresses, a photo gallery, and paypal. It costs �34.99.
Alternatively you can build your own website for free "in under five minutes" thanks to BT Better World and Recipero. Have a look at www.communitykit.co.uk to get started...
LDF Information Request
We have received a request from a Civic Society who would like to establish contact with other groups working on their Local Development Frameworks.The Trust would like to become a central focus point for the activities of the various Societies around the country. Local Societies will be facing many of the same questions when dealing with their LDF's and it would help enormously if the Trust could become a means by which this information can be accessed and shared.
If you are involved in your Local Development Framework you may wish to start a discussion on the Civic Society website forums. Alternatively, please contact me on 020 7539 7904 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The stated requirement by government for increased housing also raises other important questions relating to the incorporation of known environmentally friendly building technology e.g. the re-use of 'grey water' etc. without which new water resources would be required and yet we see no sign of plans to build any new reservoirs. The Government is going through the motions of consultations with the large housebuilders but as we know they will not incorporate existing 'green' technology unless they believe public opinion is behind this - this is where we need your support.
Please note that the above should not be confused with the 'eco town' proposals which are in danger of distracting public attention from the vast majority of houses - which will not be in 'eco towns'. For more information on Brown's 'eco-towns' plan click here or here. To share your views on eco-towns on the Civic Society forums click here.
The Community Power Pack has been created to help local groups to organise and facilitate discussions on the topic of empowerment. Your feedback will be used by Communities and Local Government to inform and shape empowerment activities, including the Empowerment White Paper. You can download it here.