Tag Archives: eco-towns

eco town round up

My google alert for eco-towns has being spewing forth over the last couple of days, collectively painting a picture of the current reactions to eco-towns across the country. First up is Wayne’s piece from Building:

Wayne Hemingway on eco-towns: Ready to rumble
The shortlist for England’s 10 eco-towns is out but now the real contest begins. With the winners due to be announced by the end of the year we brought eco-town supporter Wayne Hemingway and eco-town protester Myles Pollock together to

FORD ECO-TOWN: Campaigners say no to government ‘eco-madness’
Bognor Today – Chichester,England,UK
“Yet they want to start building eco-towns by 2010/11, which is going to mean five or six years of substantial construction traffic and the first households

Blow for eco town plans
Norwich Evening News – Norwich,England,UK
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has signalled how he wants 10 new eco towns built around the country and a proposal for the Coltishall site is the only one in

Outcry over Selby eco-towns shortlist
Yorkshire Post – Leeds,England,UK
Last month the Government announced the sites around the UK where eco-towns are likely to be built. They left the last slot on the shortlist open,

Ready to rumble
By Emily Wright The shortlist for England’s 10 eco-towns is out but now the real contest begins. With the winners due to be announced by the end of the year

Policies set for conflict
PlanningResource (subscription) – London,England,UK
Ministerial proposals for handling eco-towns will only add to the massive difficulties councils already face in operating the plan-led system,

The Eco-town debate
BirminghamMail.net – Birmingham,UK
CHRONIC housing shortages coupled with government targets to become ‘greener’ have given rise to the idea of eco-towns. These new settlements will be the

Eco-town shortlist all local
Selby Times – UK
We don’t need these so-called eco-towns, which are anything but eco-friendly. “Housing shouldn’t be built just to meet the Prime Minister’s targets.

FORD ECO-TOWN: Eight to lead in-depth inquiry into Ford project
Shoreham Today – Worthing,England,UK
This is in contrast to the government’s private decision-making which led to Ford being chosen as one of 15 possible locations for the ten eco-towns it

Leicester Mercury – Leicester,England,UK
The Pennbury plans have been put on a Government shortlist of 15 possible eco-towns, which will be cut down to a final 10 in October.

Prince’s eco-town gets green light

Environmental Data Interactive – UK
“The design vision for Sherford begins to address the house building challenge that Government has laid out when it speaks of eco-towns.

FORD ECO-TOWN: Councillors abstain in eco-town vote
Shoreham Today – Worthing,England,UK
The recommendation had to be amended twice because the original phrase, which attacked the principle of eco-towns in the district, worried members who were

government overcrowding England
Telegraph.co.uk – United Kingdom
And, paradoxically, the dumping of whole new towns in the middle of the English countryside is all right as long as they are labelled “eco-towns“.

Revolt against plans for 200000 eco-homes
Telegraph.co.uk – United Kingdom
Last month ministers unveiled a shortlist of 15 sites across England that will eventually be whittled down to 10 eco-towns. The towns will have green

Eco-towns: Living a greener future
By lilyheart
2008 looks at the potential of so-called “eco-towns”. Eco-towns are intended to be “a combined response to three challenges: climate change, the need for more sustainable living and the need to increase housing supply.

08 thoughts from think 08

I attended Think08 yesterday afternoon, visiting some of the free seminars and chatting to a good number of exhibitors. It was also good to meet up with fellow bloggers Phil, Mel, Paul, Rob and Casey for an early evening drink.

My impressions from the afternoon was that it didn’t quite have the buzz of last year but again a very worthwhile event to attend, pushing the boundaries of sustainability … but …

Resilience is the new sustainability

The biggest impression was that sustainability as a green label has run its course – has it been highjacked to mean sustainable business as usual, sustainabily? Someone at another online event recently planted this idea – sustainability is so 1990’s. We need a new describer – resilience. (A link to a post in draft)

I captured my key thoughts during the afternoon which coincidently numbered eight:

  1. its the way we use buildings, operate them and manage energy use that will have the biggest initial impact on energy performance – not necessarily new green ‘kit’
  2. focus on existing building stock not new build however ‘green’
  3. like wise focus on make existing communities sustainable – not new build eco towns and try to make them sustainable
  4. all this reinforces my view that sustainability in the built environment is a facilities management issue not a construction one – but when the fm sector will wake up to this is another post.
  5. among the exhibitors there were more planners / developers / investment organisations than noticed before, and encouragingly more colleges and universities
  6. does this lead to promoting services and competing on green issues – and the danger of greenwash though? – “choose use, we are the greenest with the best green credentials” and have been doing it for years
  7. why is nearly everyones sustainability concept, strategy or objectives a pastel coloured wheel?
  8. not as much focus on going zero – was that last years thing?

And Highlights for me – for being different:

Footpint friends– giving young people a voice on climate change and global warming.

Verveproperties and the Paintworks

I picked up far too much information which I will plough through – of note though was the information, papers and articles from the Town and Country Planning stand – informed views on sustainable communities and eco-towns.

Eco City 2008 – this week

Eco City 2008 conference gets underway this week in San Fransisco. isite will be relaying media from the event through to the UK as a bogging partner.

What will of course be of interest to UK readers is the comparisons and differences in approach with our own (top down) Eco Town approach and the (grass roots) Transition Town approach.

There is also the opportunity, through isite to feed UK eco city approaches towards the Eco City 2008 Global Summit.

Stay Tuned …

Eco town locations revealed – but is it all another greenwash?

The government has released today the short list for Eco Towns, and they are:

Bordon, Hampshire
Coltishall, Norfolk
Curborough, Staffordshire
Elsenham, Essex
Ford, West Sussex
Hanley Grange, Cambridgeshire
Imerys, Cornwall
Leeds city region, West Yorkshire
Manby, Lincolnshire
Marston Vale and New Marston, Bedfordshire
Middle Quinton, Warwickshire
Pennbury, Leicestershire
Rossington, South Yorkshire
Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire
Weston Otmoor, Oxfordshire
isite has commented on the viability and concept of Eco-Towns on many occasions, and along with many on the blogosphere have suggested the way forward to be within the existing housing stock.  (Search Eco Towns in the search bar above) .
So it is good to see organisations like the FMB’s Brian Berry, Director External Affair,  issueing statements, suggesting the eco town approach is a greenwash:
“Eco –towns sound lovely but are really a red herring to give the Government’s housing plans a stamp of green credibility. The truth is we already know how to create sustainable homes as demonstrated by the BedZed affordable eco-homes in south London and the renewable energy theme park developed by Kiklees Borough Council in Yorkshire”.

“Building brand new eco–towns outside existing settlements is really bad idea when there are 675,000 empty homes in England alone sitting empty, all ripe for refitting with green technologies. Given that demand for housing covers the whole of the UK it makes sense for every village and town to have new housing rather creating brand new settlements.”

See also Marks comments on House2.0   where Mark comments ….  3 million new homes …the case for this is no stronger than it is for a third runway at Heathrow. And no greener.

blog posted from Xda Orbit

Eco City 2008

The Eco City 2008 blog continues to profile Eco City projects and urban architects and other leading thinkers in its build up to the Eco City World Summit conference at the end of the month.  The posts, links and articles make fine background reading to urban futures and the whole concept of eco, whether its eco-cities, eco-towns or eco-villages world wide.

Worlds greenest city and eco home?

Is the German city of Freiburg, the  worlds greenest Eco City? Is the Passiv Haus the most effective and efficient Eco-Home? If so why are we not learning for eco-homes and eco-towns in the UK ?

Also, more on Eco Cities at Eco City 2008

new blogs to check out

Two new blogs have come across my desktop in the last day or so:

Hat Projects Blog – this is the blog of Tim and Hana at HAT – covering architecture, planning and regeneration – with an interesting post on eco definitions (covered here on isite some time ago)


Public Works Group Blog – this is the blog for the Second Life construction and SLengineer groups.