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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen