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CSGN target obsolete rail lines for green infrastructure push

May 21 2015

CSGN target obsolete rail lines for green infrastructure push
Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) and Arup have announced that they are to advocate the greening of redundant rail infrastructure in urban areas, taking inspiration from The High Line in New York, Promenade Plantee in Paris and London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Cities Alive initiative will target obsolete infrastructure in the Central Belt which is capable of being retrofitted with green infrastructure to improve local environments.

To this end the CSGN is hosting a green infrastructure conference on 2 June to investigate how these ideas might best come to fruition.

Keith Geddes, Chair of CSGN, explained “At CSGN we are focused on implementing schemes of all scales from larger initiatives through to small projects that add up to a greater whole. Every street tree, living wall or living roof will all help bring nature back into our towns and cities.  It would be fantastic if town centre managers and Business Improvement Districts in Scotland could adopt some of Arup's ideas.”

The CSGN has been designated a national priority in the Scottish Government’s third National Planning Framework.


#1 Posted by SJF on 21 May 2015 at 13:10 PM
Wouldn't it be 'Greener' to get this rail infrastructure back working the way it was designed too. Helping to get people out of cars and "improving local environments" that way.

You could then turn your attention to the vast swathes of inner city derelict land that could be turned into attractive "Green Networks".
Big Chantelle
#2 Posted by Big Chantelle on 21 May 2015 at 20:22 PM
The environmental movement as we now know it forced it's way into existence, in the late 1960s, by the leftie concrete modernist brigade's propaganda.

sustainable growth was in fact a chimera, an irreconcilable paradox. In the years that have trailed, we’ve had lots of growth but very little of it has been sustainable and increasingly the word is being used to window-dress and little more. Labour’s Sustainable Communities Plan, the £22 billion housing scheme which is planned for East South Englnd. The new housing will put stress on the existing infrastructure, transport systems and water supplies and it’s very hard to see ways in which it diverges from any other modernist house building plans we have had in the past. The leftie concrete modernist brigade are using the word sustainable to duck out of having to supply an adequate level of infrastructure.

Take roads. There has for many years been a very strong anti-road building lobby which argues that it’s pointless building new roads because they just encourage more people to make more journeys by car. Because road building is largely funded from the public purse, the administration seems to be more than happy to bend to the will of this lobby and to slash right back on improvement to the road system.

But the same logic is not applied to house construction, just possibly because new homes are a generator of new taxes. If you build new homes, they also have a habit of filling up, just like new roads and these new house holds will then produce more road traffic. But you rarely hear such an environmental argument against new The leftie concrete modernist house building because there exists some charade that, by adding a concoction of ecological features to housing, you can make new homes sustainable.

So we are faced with a future where the road system has collapsed and there aren’t nearly enough trains to cope and they are putting 'green' plant's on existing train infrastructure.

#3 Posted by wonky on 23 May 2015 at 18:36 PM
The environmental movement has nothing to do with 'leftie concrete modernist brigade' ( whatever that actually means- endlessly repeating sloganisms doesn't make it true) Alfred Newton, William Blake, Ruskin, William Morris- but probably the main inspiration came from the conservationism of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau.Tolstoy, Gandhi and even Kropotkin can probably be grouped into these early pioneers of environmental thought- I guess most of them could be classified as 'lefties' but then so can most creative people with a moral conscience who believe in the progress of social justice. I would agree there can be no 'growth' in terms of material expansionism as it is presently defined in any sustainable sense- we can have a sustainable and progressive modern civilization founded on environmental principles ( but that might well mean we need to make some concessions and compromises to the present conditions of our lifestyle) Global warming is a scientific fact we need to urgently deal with ( & that has nothing to do with concrete modernist lefties). What has the lack of infrastructure development in our society got to do with 'leftie concrete modernst brigade'? 90% of all national infrastructure in the UK has been sold off since the 1980's so that most of nations utilities & assets are owned by foreign corporations- this was in line with the right ideology of market fundamentalism advocated by the likes of Milton Friedman & implemented by Thatcher- so what has this got to do with left wing anything? For over thirty years we've lived under the neo-liberal consensus championed by all Westminster parties.

Who are this imaginary anti-road building lobby ( who are clearly incompetent in their aims) if we consider the amount of roads being built all over the country- why do we want more cars on already over-congested roads? We need better public transport. Preferably trains. To some extent buses. Trams in inner city areas. What we really need to do is stop building peripheral lo-rise sprawl with no amenities attached to their construction so that everyone who lives in these de-humanised environments has to own a car to actually get anywhere. We need to densify our inner cores such as central Glasgow so that people can walk or ride a bike to their work. Urban agglomeration is the most efficient means of reducing waste & maximizing energy consumption ( that is the main reason we need to get people back into cities). The reason we have this endless futile peripheral sprawl is mostly to do with issues around land ownership and tax relief. There are various reasons why few homes are being built ( other than the said sprawl) is that we no longer have housing under social ownership & regulation, with new council homes, rights for tenants, and ownership interests in land recognised through contributions to family life- something the UK experienced after the War. We've all seen the social consequences of the disastrous right to buy scheme- & with the Thatcherite Tory led deregulation of finance has caused property (including land) to become increasingly used as a source of finance for business, and similarly became source of profit for banks, & mortgage lenders: in short we've allowed the speculations of financial investors to artificially increase the value of land & by consequence property in this country ( hence why we have cheaply made 'detached' villas with 2 feet between them, with tiny rooms & gardens the size of postage stamps selling for £350,000).

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