I’m gorging myself on telly watching at the moment mostly due to the Olympics. However two programmes I watched tonight were very instructive.
Firstly, Panorama which told the tale of the millions of tonnes of rubbish that Britons simply throw out of the windows of their cars, drop onto the streets, dump into the countryside and the utter lack of political will (locally or nationally) to deal with it. What struck me is that we simply do not care, we have become irresponsible. The consequences are not my problem and no one should tell me otherwise. The usual government response is more legislation, but the problem is rarely in the laws but in the attitudes of people. Our environment on this small island of ours is suffering and too many people do not care. I’m glad that our church regularly is involved in litter picks to demonstrate that we care. However more is clearly needed.
Secondly, was Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan which showed clearly how planning, how our built environment can affect how we feel, act and think about the places we live. It also shows how we’re a nation of nimby’s, red tape, inertia and a chronic failure of imagination and vision. In another life, I’d like to have been skilled enough to be an architect. I love architecture and there’s not enough good stuff around. But we do need plans which not simply preserves the landscapes of the past but transforms the homes, communities and towns for the future.