Over twenty years ago, the Government’s “Urban Taskforce” sought to tackle the decline of our inner-cities and chart a course towards an urban renaissance. Yet whilst those aspirations for urban centres which are more sustainable, better designed, more compact and better connected have been championed, the suburbs face substantial pressures and are at risk of being overlooked.
The suburbs of our towns and cities are home to the majority of the population. Yet their form, function and connectivity give rise to unique challenges and opportunities. It is these which the Suburban Taskforce is dedicated to investigating, alongside the ways in which we can better support these areas in the future.
The Taskforce seeks to clarify the circumstances facing our suburbs and to understand the implications this has for the way in which we plan for their future. The intention is that this will inform recommendations as to policy initiatives which will contribute to the creation of suburbs which are thriving, sustainable and inclusive. It has three goals:
To illuminate the nature of social and economic activity in the suburbs. This is to include patterns of work, life and play in addition to associated conditions in terms of investment, expenditure, 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 wider spatial distinctions which may exist, for example between larger and smaller settlements. In doing so, to inform our understanding of what constitutes a “suburb” in 21st Century Britain.
To identify policy mechanisms and interventions which may assist in supporting the long-term sustainability of suburban areas. This will have particular regard to supporting polycentric centres, not least through fiscal considerations (such as taxation and investment) and the
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