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?

Fairy-tale town of Marburg up in arms over decree on solar panels

The university town of Marburg is where the Brothers Grimm collected many of their fairy tales, and the cobbled streets and medieval buildings look like they could have come straight out of one of their illustrated children's books.

Hermione Eyre: Cool title, but what does it mean?

The Government has pledged to build three million extra homes by 2020, but how can this be done without concreting over the countryside? This question has been worrying me, as it must worry anyone who likes grass, and thinks some of it should still be visible in the South-east. So I went along to a lecture on this topic at the Royal Geographical Society this week, where the message was sent out loud and clear: Worry not. We can do it.

Time: A User's Guide, By Stefan Klein, trans. Shelley Frisch

A perfectly pleasant but superficial way to pass the time

Protesters' fury as ecotown shortlist targets 'unsustainable' locations

Fifteen locations across England earmarked as potential "ecotowns" were unveiled by the Government yesterday to a decidedly mixed reception.

The Number 23 (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

This fatuous literary thriller stars Jim Carrey as a family guy who starts reading the manuscript of an old detective novel called "The Number 23" and finds it overtaking his life, specifically its quasi-kabbalistic obsession with the number 23. Thoroughly freaked out, he begins to wonder if his wife (Virgina Madsen) is having an affair with their shrink friend (Danny Huston), and whether the author of the story, one Topsy Krett, is actually a pseudonym. (The latter takes him some time to figure out). While dozing through this nonsense you may wish to speculate on the number's real significance to this movie: possibly the IQ of its writer?

A M Homes: Reasons to be cheerful

A M Homes has won widespread acclaim for her fearless and fiercely controversial fiction. She tells Elsbeth Lindner why her latest novel shows her lighter side

Album: M Craft

Silver &amp; Fire, 679

John Weeks

Proponent of flexible hospital design

Derek Sherborn

Long-serving Historic Buildings Inspector

Inigo by MIchael Leapman

The joy of keeping up with Jones

John Hutton

Self-effacing veteran of Scottish planning

King's day and best is yet to come

2,000 Guineas: Temperamental colt turns in a brilliant performance and is now 3-1 favourite for the Derby
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

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Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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Ed Balls interview

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He's behind you, dude!

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From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

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Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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