The effects of urban sprawl are however, highly debated. Urban sprawl generally associated with social issues including; social isolation, obesity, global warming, flooding and ecological degradation (Gottdiener and Budd 2005). Planners must work on improving city wide and local development quality, in reducing the need to use the motor vehicle, achieved by promoting and developing public services in proximity to residential units. In recent years the UK Government has increased housing density and brownfield development, and reduced financial incentives to ‘sprawl’. Reusing urban land where possible, rather than building on greenfield sites has assisted in the evasion of sprawling car-dependent suburbs.
3. Government Policy and Sustainable Brownfield Development
The UK’s strategic planning policy has been committed to the development of brownfield land for many years, as reflected in the large quantity of strategic guidance documents (OPDM 2006; ODPM 2005). Furthermore, the role of brownfield regeneration has been specified with new resonance due to the focus of the government policy on sustainable communities with PPS1 stating that 30% of new homes should be affordable housing and within a ten minute walk of both frequent public transport and necessary public services. Furthermore according to the PPS1, communities must now demonstrate a net gain in biodiversity and pay attention to the local production of food, examples of which can be observed across the world with the implementation of ‘urban farms’ (See Figure 1,2 and 3). Essentially the recommended outcome of this policy statement is to ensure a level of social and environmental self-reliance. highlighted the 1990s as an age of evolution for sustainable brownfield development, with Planning for the Communities of the Future (DETR 1998), and further developed through the Governments Urban White Paper (DETR 2000) which outlined its aim to accommodate new homes with brownfield land. The target of developing 60% of new homes on brownfield land is monitored by Land Use Change Statistics (LUCS), the data obtained by the surveys are based on a continuous revision process of the Ordinance survey. Currently, the data shows that UK house building is not reaching the 60% target , however statistics indicate a 23% increase in brownfield housing development from 1996 to 2009 (CLG 2010).
The planning office of the Deputy Prime Minister focuses on promoting patterns of sustainability through physical development (OPDM 2001). Accordingly, emergent sustainable development and brownfield regeneration agendas have increased debate over the concept of sustainable brownfield regeneration. RESCUE (2003) provided a Europe-wide definition of ‘sustainable brownfield regeneration’, setting brownfields within a ‘triple bottom line’ framework. Put simply, the management and rehabilitation to beneficial use of brownfield land ought to be environmentally sensitive, economically viable and socially robust. ...