Political parties address urban areas

Labour and Conservative politicians are focusing on urban design in a bid to boost their environment policies. – Environment Secretary John Gummer is poised to hold a series of regional seminars early this year to address ways of improving the built envir

Labour and Conservative politicians are focusing on urban design in a bid to boost their environment policies.

Environment Secretary John Gummer is poised to hold a series of regional seminars early this year to address ways of improving the built environment in cities and towns, following his pre-Christmas symposium on Quality in Town and Country.

Gummer suggests design guides for initial building stages, such as good site briefs. He says planners need to look at how “the building is intended to help define the street.” A record of Gummer’s symposium will be published.

“We’re open to ideas,” says a Department of the Environment spokesman.

And shadow environment minister Keith Vaz has circulated results of City 2020, a conference held in December to discuss results of an 18-month investigation covering 40 towns and cities. “We will be holding discussions, but no dates are set,” says Vaz.

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