Pragmatic Regulations Campaign

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A campaign on the promotion of using practical and pragmatic planning regulations to catch up with the tradition that the UK historically shares with other Northwestern European countries that are Scandinavian countries, Germany, Flanders and even the North of France.

Inspiration: the Dutch Sustainable and Systematic Safety approach that recognises what road users do anyway even while with the best rules put in place. This same approach is used for nearly everything in the Netherlands: drug use, euthanasia, gay mariage, prostitution… The principle: Don’t forbid the inevitable, canalise instead.


To stop creating regulations based on theory and adapt the existing ones to the reality. For instance, forbidding a cyclist to use a street in both directions is unrealistic because the convenience of cycling has already been lost by doing so. It is comparable to asking a pedestrian to walk in one direction only. See the successful pilot project of Kensington and Chelsea started in 2009 and the law passed in France in 2008 on mandatory cycling contraflows and applied in the Lille metropolis.

For whom

For planners that need to go through heavy planning procedures including multiple stakeholder consultations to obtain permissions while these would be simplified if planners were only required to follow regulations and the law.

Idea release

July 2017

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A project supported
by the Academy of Urbanism

A project initiated
by Saskia Huizinga


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