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How town planning can make us thin and healthy: Architects show that

It isn’t hard to find an architect who will tell you that vast swathes of the British urban landscape are ugly, grey and unappealing – nor would you struggle to find people who agreed with them. But could it be that the look and the layout of our cities is actually bad for our health?

Architecture's Oscars: Kevin McCloud and Alain de Botton could be

Today, Kevin McCloud and Alain de Botton are positively pink-cheeked with pride. Buildings commissioned by the prickle-quiffed Grand Designer and Britain's favourite philosopher have just won national awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects - and their projects could be shortlisted for the profession's Oscar, the Stirling Prize.

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Seventies style: The decade that taste forgot produced a host of

How would you like to live on a Seventies housing estate built on the outskirts of a sleepy dormitory town? The answer is likely to be a resounding "no" – but prepare to have your prejudices about the decade that brought us the avocado bathroom suite confounded.

Architects angry at Prince's power grab

He has damned modern designs for London's National Gallery and Chelsea Barracks, trumpeted a traditionalist model town in Dorset and delivered verdicts on buildings to ministers and world leaders. Now Prince Charles's architectural influence could be felt across Britain.

Architects beginning to think big

Britain's homes have long had the smallest rooms in Europe, now a new generation of town planners and architects is urging us to rethink the way we use our shrinking urban space. Oliver Bennett reports