What do you think about our suburbs?
Are you interested in the future of our suburbs? If so, you could get involved in shaping how they change over time. In March a cross-party suburban taskforce was set up to look at ways to make our suburban areas sustainable and to support the long term future of these in-between areas that house the majority of the British population.
Its goals are:
- To establish the nature of social and economic activity in the suburbs, including patterns of work, life and play and the associated investment and expenditure needed in both the built and natural environment.
- To illustrate the potential differences between suburban areas and those which are either more central or more rural, in addition to other distinctions which may exist, for example between larger and smaller settlements and thereby inform our understanding of what constitutes a “suburb” in 21st Century Britain.
- To identify the policies and interventions that will be needed to support the long-term sustainability of suburban areas, not least through fiscal considerations such as taxation and investment and the management of change through the planning system.
Suburban living has long been the butt of jokes and the setting for sitcoms but in reality our suburbs are affordable, accessible and often more desirable places to live than either the inner city or the less well-connected rural alternatives. These areas were once regarded as an ideal balance between town and country. But increasingly they are suffering from deprivation, lack of funding and hollowed-out high streets in much the same way as the worst of our urban centres.
So what can be done to improve the suburbs and take them back to being the desirable and aspirational areas they once were? In August the Suburban Taskforce issued a Call for Evidence to help work out ways to support the best aspects of our suburbs and deliver new policies to tackle the problems that have emerged in recent years.
It is keen to get the views of the public about the ways in which our suburbs could be enhanced and improved and the deadline for the call for evidence has now been extended to 5pm on Friday 16 October. So you’ve still got time to have your say.
If you want to read more about the Suburban Taskforce and submit your views, click here.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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