Foresight UK: 'Land futures' report

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Fri Feb 26 18:00:12 GMT 2010

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The Land use Futures report is at --

Needless to say, off-grid/low impact style development isn't on it's main 
agenda as a means to tackle all the problems it identifies! (even though 
arguable it could be one of the best ways of doing it).

Some of the background reports (available from the page listed above) have 
some interesting factoids inside but they're pretty much all working to the 
conventional, mega-build agenda, not more locally sourced and small-scale 
developments. There's some stuff that's exploring areas of land justice (e.g., 
"Areas of land that may feel public, such as streets or shopping centres, may 
in fact be privately held, and use of that land may be subject to restrictions 
of which people are not aware until they are suddenly brought to light." -- 
DIS4, p230) but in general the tone of the report is "full steam ahead and sod 
the big chunks of Antarctic ice".

As Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and 
expecting different results!


Report calls for reforms to planning and land use

Huw Morris, PlanningResource, 26th February 2010

The UK must fundamentally reform the way it plans and manages land to meet the 
challenges of the 21st century, according to a government report today.

The government’s chief scientist John Beddington said while planning and land-
use management had served the country well by preventing urban sprawl, these 
systems dated back to the middle of the 20th century and needed to be reformed 
to meet the challenges of the next 50 years.

"Business as usual is not an option over the long-term," he said. "Without 
being smart about how land is used, we risk missing targets. The effects of 
climate change and new pressures on land could escalate, seriously eroding 
quality of life."

The study by Foresight, the government’s futures think tank, predicts severe 
pressure on water supply, biodiversity, carbon sinks and urban green space.

Climate change, an ageing population and the low-carbon agenda will present 
the major challenges for the next 50 years.  

The population is expected to increase by nine million by 2031, the study 
predicts, with the South East projected to have 39,000 extra households a year 
compared to the North East’s 8,000 a year. 

Climate change is expected to result in significant reductions in river flows 
and groundwater recharge amid general patterns of rising demand through to 

By 2020, increasing population and housing growth will increase demand for 
water by five per cent. 

The study says the land system will be increasingly influenced by global and 
domestic market pressures, making it crucial to ensure public goods and 
services from privately owned land – clean water, flood risk and biodiversity – 
are encouraged and delivered.  

- -- 
"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

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Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
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email - mobbsey at
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