Town Planning - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
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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Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
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Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week