Life and Style Only 3.4 per cent of the Solihull area is covered by housing

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?

New York street vendor who alerted police to bomb seeks office

A New York City vendor who alerted police to an attempted car bombing in Times Square is running for Congress.

Traveller's guide: Victoria, Australia

With beaches, vineyards and a cosmopolitan capital, mainland Australia's smallest state packs a lot in, says <a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com." target="_blank">Lonely Planet's</a> <b>Jayne D'Arcy</b>.

National Trust concerns over planning move

The National Trust today voiced "grave concerns" over Government proposals aimed at dramatically simplifying the planning system, warning of "damaging development" not seen since the 1930s.

Solar industry takes tariff fight to Lords

Solar industry campaigners have their last chance to save much-needed subsidies today as MPs meet to decide if the Government's controversial cuts warrant a debate in the House of Commons.

Florida shooting suspect had been arrested before

A teenage boy arrested on suspicion of murdering two British holidaymakers in Florida had already been detained by police for aggravated assault with a handgun, police said.

Boxing: Audley Harrison plans to carry on fighting

Audley Harrison has decided to carry on fighting despite last month's pathetic defeat by David Haye.

Theory of relatives: Is society any more broken than it always was?

Politicians claim that broken families are at the root of Britain's ills. But our ancestors' domestic set-ups were just as dysfunctional as our own, argues Brian Schofield

Boxer, Beetle, By Ned Beauman

A debut with the whiff of a cult classic

Leading article: Animal crackers

As part of its preparations for statehood, South Sudan has dreamt up a novel way to put itself on the global map. A blueprint for its capital, Juba, has the urban centre re-planned in the shape of a rhinoceros, while its second city, Wau, is reconfigured as a giraffe. Now no one claims to be talking any latter-day Baron Haussmann or L'Enfant here. After all, these "safari" formations could be seen to full advantage only from the air. But in an age of popular air travel, satellite navigation, Google Earth and the rest, they would not be unappreciated. Indeed, they could set a new trend in branding. Imagine air passengers' delight on detecting the outline of the rhino on the final approach to Juba.

Life on the terraces: The classic two-up two-down is back in demand

A vote for the most evocative British property type might see the terraced house win a clear majority – although those evocations may be as much fantasy as reality. For many, terraces suggest Coronation Street or the 1970s Manchester seen in Life on Mars. Others think of terraces as quintessentially Dickensian, or typifying homes built by Yorkshire mill owners to house their wretched workers. Some may even have seen how terraces formed the backbone of Baltimore's crack trade in The Wire.

Sheringham Man steams over Tesco Goliath &ndash; for now

Norfolk town rejects 'rapacious' retailer's plans for new store in favour of farmer's green supermarket &ndash; but is this just shop snobbery?

Colin Ward: Writer and social theorist who espoused a gentle brand of anarchy

Colin Ward was an anarchist without a sinister cloak and fizzing bomb and without a penchant for rioting and street-fighting. His methods were his intellect, vast research, and above all words. He turned out well-written books and articles in which he argued against big government and in favour of initiatives by individuals and small communities. He was described by Paul Barker, in his 1989 review of the book Ward wrote with Ruth Rendell, Country Life Force, as a man who made "gentle attempts to educate us into a freer, kinder society."

'Incredible' rents still demanded in London

Rents for commercial properties have soared to such an extent in select parts of London that landlords are demanding nearly £1,000 per square foot for sections of top-tier shops on the exclusive Old Bond Street.

Jay Merrick: Design, schools and pure humbug

Construction, profitability and poor design mark academy schools

The Sketch: It's a climate of confusion, for sure

Things are so complicated it's a wonder anyone knows what's going on. But then, no one does. No one can. There's too much to know. Not that Lord Turner of Ecchinswell put it like that. He's climate change. It's his job to project omniscience in the face of the unknowable.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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