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LONDON-A shift in planning policy is advocated in new research sponsored by the RICS. It has put its weight behind proposals to build densely in the immediate vicinity of existing transport interchanges.

Local authorities should offer planning incentives for developers to build high density, mixed use areas around good public transport access, the RICS says. This would reduce reliance on the car and ease pollution.

The RICS research identifies 22 case studies including Newcastle, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Reading and four London sites where existing transport interchanges could benefit from the TDA approach.

RICS Chief Executive Louis Armstrong said: “High density may conjure up dystopian, Bladerunner-like images for some, but high density does not automatically mean high rise. Paris is on average four times the living density of London but rarely built over seven stories and the urban environment is by and large better. Integrated planning has also produced enviable results in cities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Lyon.

“What we have to get away from is the idea it is necessary for people to haul themselves across cities to their jobs every morning. It is bad for quality of life and bad for the economy. People should be given a realistic option to live near their work.”

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