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?

Letter: Mall madness

Sir: Mick Hucknell, quoted in your feature "The mall that ate Manchester" (2 September), is absolutely right to describe the Trafford Centre as "the supremacy of Mammon and bad taste." But it was not a planning error as stated.

Saturday Essay: I too thought the unthinkable - and failed

FRANK FIELD'S current tribulations are widely interpreted as a Promethean penalty for "thinking the unthinkable", a dictum of mine from the heady days of the early Centre For Policy Studies, whose wider currency I owe to Dr Richard Cockett's book of that name on the mixed fortunes of think-tanks.

MPs dig in for cities' oases of tranquillity

LIKE THOUSANDS of other allotment sites which chequer Britain's landscape, Cable Street Community Gardens, in the heart of London's Docklands, provide urban gardeners with an oasis of tranquillity.

First European pagoda built in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, RENOWNED for its capacity to embrace all races and religions, has become the first city in Europe to build a Bhuddist pagoda.

More Nineties terms of abuse

Miles Kington with another selection of useful words for the modern world - and their real meanings

Edinburgh's new stronghold

Scotland's new National Museum fits seamlessly into the fabric of its capital city. Nonie Niesewand sees an exotic combination of the modern and the medieval

Obituary: Professor Brian Hackett

BRIAN HACKETT was one of a small group of landscape architects who played a significant part in the development of the subject since the Second World War.

Going out: OPENING THIS WEEK

JAZZ

Law Report: Case summaries 16 march 1998

THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Law Report: 30 January 1998: Inspector has inquisitorial burden at hearing

The absence of an accusatorial procedure when an appeal against the refusal of planning permission is conducted by way of an informal hearing, rather than by a public local inquiry, places an inquisitorial burden upon the Inspector hearing the appeal.

Law Report: Council was not obliged to compensate landowner

Law Report: 16 December 1997

Book: Cities for a Small Planet by Richard Rogers, edited by Philip Gumuchdjian Faber & Faber, pounds 9.99

Metropolitan lines; Stephen Bayley wants to live in a Richard Rogers city (eating Ruthie Rogers food). In the meantime, hang on to the Escort

Olympic Games: Nagano backs down over skiing course

It may well have been the hardest fought 85 metres in the history of the Olympics. After a five-year battle over where to start the men's downhill, organisers of the Nagano Winter Olympics, which start on 7 February next year, announced yesterday that they are finally ready to back down.

THE BROADER PICTURE; THE STREETS ARE PAVED WITH PLASTICINE

For more than 30 years Martin Langdon and his brother Nigel have been building a city. Year after year they have worked tirelessly, shaping its skyscrapers and its public buildings, its apartment blocks, its cathedral and its boulevards. Between them they have mapped out its monuments and its plazas. In all that time the gloss of newness has begun to fade, and the pioneering utopianism of the early days has given way to a grittier understanding that what cities really need to flourish is a messy vitality.

Leading Article: We're treating paedophiles like medieval outcasts

Imagine a group of people who are forced to find somewhere else to live whenever the neighbours find out who they are. Who are subject to zoning laws which exclude them from certain areas of the country. Who are excluded from a wide range of occupations and may find it difficult to get any kind of job. Who have to register with the authorities under pain of imprisonment. A group driven eventually to live like vagrants, driven from parish to parish like paupers for whom no one wanted to be responsible under the Poor Law.
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