Tag Archives: green social democracy

A little more conversation, a lot more action: getting infrastructure right

Centre span of the new Severn Bridge , UKThis post is by Huw Irranca-Davies MP. It first appeared on Labour List.

The infrastructure we use to travel, talk and power our homes and businesses is constantly being renewed and improved. When we get it right, it delivers outcomes that society hugely values such as easier and quicker commuting, allowing people more time to spend with their families, clean, plentiful water supplies and access to affordable energy. The best infrastructure is also future proof and helps to tackle climate change.

But infrastructure can also be a source of huge frustration and contention as debates erupt over new projects and interest groups get pitted against each other. Read more

How to build garden cities for the 21st century

Garden_City2This post is by Hugh Ellis, chief planner at the Town and Country Planning Association. It is taken from the collection of essays, published last week by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places.  This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published this week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This essay has also been posted on Labour List.

It is clear that the housing crisis is having a desperate impact on British people’s lives. It is also clear that the next government will have to face an acute economic and environmental crisis. The current national response to these complex challenges won’t secure the lasting progress we need. Welfare benefit reform is driving a whole new set of housing needs and new patterns of migration, and it’s increasing inequality and social division. Our deregulated planning system with no strategic teeth is at a low ebb and the ideologies of nudge theory and neoliberalism, although practically ineffective, still dominate the zeitgeist. Read more

The triple benefit of an ambitious energy efficiency programme

insulationThis post is by Will Straw, associate director for climate change, energy and transport at IPPR. It is taken from the collection of essays, published today by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places.  This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published next week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. A version of this piece has been published on Labour List.

Britain’s communities are facing three big challenges: a living standards crisis, a jobs crisis and a climate crisis. Improving Britain’s homes to make them more energy efficient is a significant part of the answer to all three but the government’s market-driven approach looks inadequate. Instead, greater shared responsibility between government, the market and civil society should be encouraged to address this triple crunch. So what does the British public think about these three problems and is there a solution for all three? Read more

Is self build the answer to more and better housing?

Aerial view of housing estateThis post is by Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central. It is one of a collection of essays to be published later this week by Green Alliance, titled Green social democracy: better homes in better places. Similar collections are also being published under ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects, as part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. A version of this piece has also been published on Labour List.

In 2006 the Labour Government introduced a ground-breaking policy for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016. Zero carbon homes attracted wide support from businesses and charities, unleashing a wave of innovation across the construction sector and beyond. Community self build has an even greater potential, because as well as generating innovation it could also increase the supply of housing and deliver homes that are tailored to local and personal needs, and also high quality and green. Read more