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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Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

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World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past