BOOKS, PAPERS, FILMS AND WEBSITES as referenced on screen in The Urbal Fix

Alagiah, George (2010) Future of Food BBC 2 Documentary,

Angelantoni, André (2009) Preparing for a Post Peak Life – Web video:

Beevers, Robert (1988) The Garden City Utopia, A Critical Biography of Ebenezer Howard – London, MacMillan Press

Boyle, Godfrey et al, (2004) Renewable Energy UK. Oxford University Press / The Open University.

Brown, Jeffrey and Foucher, Samuel (2010) Website

Challen, Colin, (2009) Too Little Too Late. Hove, Picnic Publishing

Chefurka, Paul (2009) Population, the Elephant in the Room.

Climate Audit (2010) Steve Macintyre et al,

CURE (2009) Centre for Urban Regional Ecology website:

DEFRA (2009) Sustainable development indicators in your pocket Web PDF:

Dixon, T. (2007) ‘A Fourth Dimension in Sustainable Urban Regeneration? Governance Structures, Sustainability and CSR in the Public and Private Sectors’, ESRC/NERC Transdisciplinary Seminar Series, Number 5: Sustainable Communities and Environmental Inequ

Donkin et al (1999) Mapping access to food at a local level, British Food Journal – 101(7):554-564

Farr, Douglas (2008) Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature. USA, John Wiley and Sons

FoE (2008) Making the Case for a National Carbon Tax,

Forest of Leeds (2010) website

Forum for the Future (2009)

Friends of the Earth (2009) Leeds Climate Change Strategy: a Friends of the Earth response: Web pdf:

Gallent, Anderson and Bianconi (2006) Planning on the Edge. UK, Routlegde

Giddens, Lord Anthony (2009) The Politics of Climate Change, UK, Polity Press

Graham, Stephen and Marvin, Simon (2001) Splintering Urbanism. London, Routledge.

Hall, Peter and Ward, Colin (1998) Sociable Cities – The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard. Chichester, John Wiley and Sons

Hart, Robert (1996) Forest Gardening – Cultivating an Edible Landscape. UK. Green Books

Haughton and Hunter (1994) Sustainable Cities. GB, Athenaeum Press

Home (2009) Video:

Howard, Ebenezer (1898) Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform / Garden Cities of Tomorrow. UK, Faber and Faber

IPCC (2001) Climate Change 2001 Third Asessment Report,

Kermit and Shuylor (2002) From Garden City to Green City: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard, UK, Center Books

Koh and Beck (2006) Parks, People and City. München, Topos 55

Kunstler, James Howard (2009) Author of The Long Emergency. The Geography of No-where. Web Blog: Courting Convulsion

Kuo, Frances E and Sullivan, William C (2001) Environment and Behaviour,, Sage Publications

Lang, Tim and Michael Heasman (2004). Food Wars: the battle for mouths, minds and markets. London: Earthscan

Lang, Tim et al (2009) Food Policy: Integrating health, environment and society, Oxford UK

Laughton, Chris (2006) Home Heating With Wood. Wales. CAT Publications

LCC: Leeds City Council Sustainable Development Unit,

Leonard, Annie (2009) The Story of Stuff,

LetsRecyle website (2009):

Lindley at al (2006) Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Uban Environment: Assessing Climate Change Relate Risk in UK Urban Areas. Journal of Risk Research Vol 9, No 5 543-568, July 2006

Luke (2009) Inverting the Peak (Blog)

Madden, Kathleen (2005) How to Turn a Place Around. USA, Project for Public Spaces

Mann, Samuel (2009) Computing for Sustainability

Mitchell, R and Popham, F (2008) Effect of exposure to natural environment on health inequalities: an observational population study The Lancet Issue 9650

Mollinson, Bill (1991) Introduction to Permaculture. Australia. Tagari Publications.

Nairn, D (2009) Sustainable Cities Collective website: Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City concept:

Natural England (2009) Standards for accessible natural greenspace. Web download:

Natural England/BBC (2008)

NEF (2010) New Economics Foundation,

New Scientist (2005) Ocean Heat Store..

New Scientist (2009) How to Survice the Coming Century (Gaia Vince) Issue 2697,

NICE (2009) Spatial planning for health: final scope – National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence web PDF

O’Neill, Daniel (2009) Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy,

Pierce, Jared (2003) World Consumption Cartogram,

Read, David (2009) Report:

Robertson, James (2001) Transforming Economic Life, A Millennial Challenge. Totnes, Green Books /Schumacher Society

RSA (2009) Royal Society for the Arts, ‘Food in a World Without Oil’—food-in-a-world-without-oil

Scott-Cato, Molly (2008) Green economics : an introduction to theory, policy, and practice. London, Earthscan.

Shaw, Colley and Connell (2008) Climate Change Adaptation by Design (A guide for sustainable communitites) – Leaflet UK TCPA

Soil Food Web:

The Guardian (2010) 12 01 10 “Hanson: Cap and Trade Open Letter”

The Guardian (2010) 29 03 10 “Lovelock: Humans are Too Stupid..”

The Independent (2009) Front page 18/11/09,

The Leeds Initiatve (2009) Leeds Climate Change Strategy. Web pdf:

Thomas, K, Littlewood, S and Carver, S (2006) “The Countryside In and Around Towns: The Green Infrastructure of Yorkshire and the Humber” The Centre for Urban Development

& Environmental Management (CUDEM) Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds Metropolitan University.

Thompson M, (2009) Lecture at The Centre For Alternative Technology, Wales.

TIDE Global Learning (2010) Energy, Water and Climate Change,

Tollefson, Jeff (2010) Nature Magazine

UK Habitat (2009) Planning Sustainable Cities: Policy Directions – Global Report on Human Settlements. London, Earthscan

UKCIP02 (2009) Climate Change Scenarios: Web download –

Ulrich RS. (1984) View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 1984

UN (2007) World Urbanization Prospects. New York, United Nations

UNFCCC (2009) Copenhagen Accord,

Unsworth, Rachel and Stillwell, John (2004) Twenty-first Century Leeds – Leeds, Leeds Univeristy Press

University of Warwick and Sandwell Health Action Zone (2001) Measuring Access to Healthy Food in Sandwell. Sandwell Health Action Zone.

Vale, Robert and Brenda (1991) Green Architecture. London, Thames and Hudson.

Vale, Robert and Brenda (2009) Time To Eat The Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living. London, Thames and Hudson.

Viljoen, André and Bohn, Katrin (2008) CPULS Continuous Production Urban Landscapes. UK, Architectural Press / Elsevier

Wrigley, N. (2002) ‘Food deserts in British cities:  policy context and research priorities’,  Urban Studies, 39, 2029-40.

Wrigley, N., Warm, D. L.,  Margetts, B. and Whelan, A. (2002)‘Assessing the impact of improved retail access on diet in a ‘food desert’: a preliminary report’,  Urban Studies, 39, 2061-82.

Whelan, A., Wrigley, N., Warm, D. L., Cannings, E. (2002) ‘Life in a ‘food Desert’’, Urban Studies, 39, 2083-2100.

Wrigley, N., Warm, D. L. and Margetts, B.M. (2003) ‘Deprivation, diet and food retail access: findings from the Leeds ‘food deserts’ study’, Environment and Planning A, 35, 151-88.  [Awarded Ashby Prize 2004]

Wrigley, N., Warm, D.L., Margetts, B. M. and Lowe, M.S. (2004) ‘The Leeds ‘food deserts’ intervention study: what the focus groups reveal’, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 31, 123-36.                                                                    [Awarded ‘Highly Commended Paper, 2005 Award’ by IJRDM].

Worldwatch Institute (2006) World By Carbon Emissions,


Amazonails Strawbale Innovation:

Atheneum Hotel, Picadilly:–-patrick-blanc’s-latest-green-wall/

Back to Front / Garden to Eat Project (Harehills and Chapletown):

Biointensive System:

BTCV: British Trust for Conservation Volunteers:

CAT: Centre for Alternative Technology,

Food Up Front Project (London):

GetCycling (York):

Green Infrastructure:

Green Roof Centre (Sheffiled)

Greening The Desert (2007)

Groundwork (Morley):

Gussing (Austria):

High Speed Rail:


Incredible Edible Todmorden (West Yorks):

LA SUDS (Film):

Landscape Institue: (Porritt speech)

Leeds NGT (New Generation Transport System):

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm:

MEPC (Wellington Place):

Old Sleningford Farm Forest Garden (Ripon)


REAP (Roundhay Environmental Acion Project) – Farmers market:

Riverford Organic Veg:

Settle Hydro (North Yorkshire):

Slipstream Energy Ltd:

SURE (Sustainable and Renewable Energy) Otley (West Yorks):

TCPA: Town and Country Planning Association:

Transition Network:


Wellington Place Urban Gardens:

Wildland Research Institute:


Multifunctional green space, bird wetlands, town and local centres, NGT routes:

Leeds City Council Core Strategy – Leeds Local Development Framework LDF

Flood Zone 3 (fluvial), population density, self reported poor health, long term illness, woodland:

Forestry Commission, Value of Trees Project –

Built-up area, major road network, allotments, designated sports grounds (playing pitches), SSSIs, Local Nature Reserves, SEGIs, Local Nature Areas, rivers and lakes, airport:

Leeds City Council Unitary Development Plan –

Cycle route(s), streams:

Leeds Cycleways –

Flood risk area, flood defence barriers:

Environment Agency Leeds (River Aire) Flood Alleviation Scheme –

Washlands, catchment:

University of Leeds, Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme –

Accessible green space:

Natural England, Standards for Accessible Green Space –

Arable/pasture, historic parks, urban parks:

The Leeds Landscape Assessment –

Electric vehicle charge points:

EV Network UK (Electric Vehicle Charge Points)


Network Rail Electrification –

Railway stations:

Leeds Metro –

Car club stations:


Farmers markets, food producers: + Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens –

Additional tree cover, golf courses, wiers, satellite view:

Google Earth

A Reflective Paper on the making of “The Urbal Fix”

Tom Bliss 2010


The possibly unique process of making a DVD for a Landscape MA has thrown up some interesting issues which do not belong within the programme itself, but which nevertheless have value within the terms of the project, and so merit inclusion.

Also, apart from using an unusual medium, the author has (for justifiable reasons, in his opinion) chosen a topic which seems almost to subvert some of the cornerstone conventions of Landscape Architecture, and then expressed it using an unorthodox editorial style for an academic work. This approach also requires some explanation.


The author completed a diploma in Landscape Architecture at Leeds Polytechnic in 1979 which provided exemption from the early stages of the MALA. Furthermore, the diploma included both a dissertation and major design, so it was agreed that his Final Project should be a documentary in multi-media DVD format.

During the first semester, he took advantage of the flexibility of the Leeds Beckett module system to study Sustainable Urbanism, Planting for People and Nature, City Parks and Green Spaces, and Design and Community at Leeds Beckett, and also to take Module One (Environment and Energy in a World Context) of the Msc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology Graduate School of the Environment in Wales (part of the University of East London), plus the CAT short course Emergency Planet Earth – itself a field course module for the Leeds University Geography MA in Activism and Social Change. He also attended lectures at Leeds University Geography Department and at the School of Earth and Environment.


The topic stems from a lecture by Kevin Thomas (Thomas et al 2006) in the Sustainable Urbanism module.

Having explored various theoretical spatial city forms, Thomas suggested that his students might wish to consider which of these shapes might be most suited to sustainable development.

The author’s research had led him to view the term ‘sustainable development’ with suspicion, because it can in some cases be taken to imply continuing growth, which may or may not be sustainable.

He therefore decided to research spatial theory for urban adaptation in a steady state economy (a subject he had explored in depth at CAT).

The result was an essay “Sustainable Leeds?”, which became the primary reference document for “The Urbal Fix.”

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The author was a professional communications consultant for 25 years ( 2010), advising businesses on both external and internal communication strategy, and writing documentary, drama, commercial and conference scripts, as well as magazine articles, workshop, school and lecture presentations, plus, later, fictional stories, songs and light-hearted blogs for his fan base as a musician. This gave him a strong awareness of the importance of ‘message’ and of the advantages of matching editorial style to the projected target audience. He therefore considered who might eventually watch the DVD, and therefore what presentation style would be most appropriate.

Officially, the audience would comprise only Leeds Beckett invigilating staff and any students who might subsequently access the DVD from the University library. This, along with the MA requirement for overt critical analysis, balance and nuance, would suggest a conventional academic editorial style – (even though this might produce an unconventionally dry documentary).

However, nearly all the interviewees, most of the organisations who gave permission for filming, many of the author’s colleagues at Leeds Beckett, and a large number of other interested parties expressed a strong desire to see the finished programme. A detached academic style would be ungracious and inappropriate for this audience, so a more journalistic (though still referenced and balanced) editorial style was considered.

But further research into climate, resources and finance soon began to suggest that the likely urgency of the global situation could justify a much wider, more general audience – including working Landscape Architects and other design professionals, local opinion-makers and politicians, community groups and even the general public. This suggested a more promotional, even prosthelytizing editorial style – in spite of the fact that this might sit uneasily within the academic conventions normally associated with a Masters submission.

The final argument came from the author’s research into the application of engagement in design, and his exploration of the likely future changes to the role of environmental designers in society – as mentoring, championing and enabling acquire ascendancy over intervention and imposition. This supported his growing view that all the environmental professions would soon be required to value vision and leadership above aesthetic and even technical skill, so, after much deliberation, and in spite of the conflict with existing academic expectations, this last approach was adopted.


When making the programme, the author was constrained in a number of ways.

The lack of a production budget forced him to utilise existing equipment and software (which accounts for the reduced image and sound quality at times), and placed limitations on the production of animated graphics and the acquisition of library material.

Furthermore, working alone with no crew or production team ruled out some of the more adventurous approaches to documentary-making, and demanded a somewhat prosaic visual style.

In addition, the requirement for logical narrative using other people’s recorded speech (in interview) and the constraints of visual storytelling as demanded by the documentary genre, also imposed limitations on the issues that might be addressed, and on the depth to which they might be explored.

Conversely, there is a power and conviction to the film which would have been missing from a conventional paper.

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The application of references to moving video presented some challenges.

Much of the referencing required in the programme could effectively be expressed by the simple application of a name and role caption to the current interviewee. But where additional information was required, it was decided to provide this using brief, small on-screen captions (shown thus: “• Reference •”) where necessary.

Some of these captions refer to publications, (as required for academic purposes), others provide a starting point for further research on a specific topic (as required for educational purposes), and the remainder identify the location filmed (as required for journalistic purposes). There was a case for expressing each of these using a different visual style on screen, but as this could have become confusing, a standardised system was chosen.

To avoid unnecessary visual clutter and distraction, reference captions were restricted to the minimum possible size, density and duration. (Viewers may wish to pause play-back when accessing them).


The first step was the production of a storyboard/treatment, or basic running order, which was discussed with tutors and then refined a number of times. In this, each subject / story section was allocated at least one, and often more, informed interviewees. It is worth noting that the finished programme bears little resemblance to this, though the basic message remains intact throughout all drafts. The chief reason for this was a) the availability or otherwise of interviewees and b) a focusing of the topics each felt comfortable talking about. Additional changes were made in the light of on-going research, and in response to the actual performance of interviewees on the day.

When selecting interviewees, attempts were made to achieve both racial and gender balance, but this did not prove easy. Three of the individuals approached (two women and one ethnic minority) did not feel able to take part for one reason or another (or else proved impossible to schedule), and there was also an issue of availability on shoot days. For example, in Todmorden, Nick Green was available on the day rather than either of his two female colleagues (who’d initially been approached).

The second step was to conduct the interviews. There were 35 in all, including three existing clips of speeches by contributors who could not be available during the shoot period (Angelantoni, Porritt and Lang), but who gave permission for their clips to be used. The questions were tailored to each interviewee’s main areas of expertise, as per the treatment, but most were also asked about related topics to provide opportunities for inter-cutting and serendipity, and most were also invited to provide some more general opinions. This is standard documentary practice.

The third stage was the logging and editing of the interviews (average duration for an interview was 30 minutes, i.e 17.5 hours of ‘talking heads’ to be transcribed and cut to length), combined with the scripting of the author’s own contributions, which would provide the links and narrative thrust. Not all the interviewees made the final cut, and a few only appear in the ‘Answers’ section. This was not because their contribution was any less valuable or worthy, merely that their choice of words did not happen to fit the flow of the edit. This ‘audio edit’ and subsequent drafts of the script were discussed with tutors. (There were 16 full drafts of the script in all).

The fourth stage was to film the author’s ‘pieces-to-camera’ and the remainder of the ‘cutaway’ and ‘gv’ shots (some of which had already been captured during the interview shoot), plus a small number of additional interviews which had not been shot earlier for one reason of another. In total about 30 hours of video was recorded.

The last step was finally to edit the programme, including all original graphics and other assets.

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As an experienced documentary maker, the author felt an initial instinct to restrict the main programme to one hour – because audiences are tuned to watching programmes of this duration, and anything longer might begin to pall.

In the early stages an approach was considered which would involve taking the requirement for urgent change (as demanded by climate, financial and resource issues) as read, and merely to concentrate on presenting the potential solutions. However, it soon emerged that this might prove dangerous in terms of audience reception, as it could not be assumed that everyone would understand and accept those assumptions. It became clear that it would be necessary to begin with climate change and then to work logically through to the solutions and plans for action – which would take some time to do.

In the event the main story timed out at 69 minutes, and there were another 30 minutes of ‘footnote’ clips which deserved to be included by one means or another.

So the tactic was adopted of breaking the documentary into six shorter sections (this would have additional advantages in terms of file handling for the DVD, and any possible web version) to allow for more comfortable viewing, and then to include the ‘footnote’ clips on a separate page (Additional Clips).

These footnote clips are intended to address questions that are likely to form in viewers’ minds while they are watching the main programme, but for which it had proved impossible to provide answers without subverting the narrative flow.


The author is supremely aware of the need habitually to make programmes entertaining as well as informative. One reliable way of achieving this is to include the unexpected – ideally as a sub-plot.

The co-incidence of his relationships with Ebenezer Howard and William Bliss provided an ideal opportunity, so additional depth was added to the DVD version by the inclusion of a family tree and samples of relevant music from the author’s own recordings.


The author would submit that his choice of medium and editorial style provide ample evidence of originality. This is further enhanced by his presentation of Urbalism as a new and innovative concept in the adaptation of cities towards sustainability, and the radical suggestion of the Urbal Institute.

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The project has thrown up a number of issues that the author believes would reward further study.

1) The main area for future developmental work is the establishment of the Urbal Institute. The author hopes to explore this energetically over the coming months, and plans to initiate a symposium, to which many of the interviewees, together with a number of other players, would be invited. This would have the objective of seeking to establish whether the Urbal Institute is indeed viable, and if so, what shape it should take, and how it might be founded.

There were two other areas which he would have explored within the project if resources had allowed, and if they could have been included without overburdening the main thrust of the film.

2) The first was suggested by a lecture at Leeds University by Paul Hoggett (Professor of Politics, University of the West of England) on the psychology of climate change denial. As this infuses all of the issues around the The Urbal Fix, an understanding of it, and of how it impacts on social change, will be essential if any real progress is to be made towards Urbalism. The author did consider a PhD on this topic, but has had to reject the idea for personal financial reasons.

3) A final area for further study has also been considered and rejected for a PhD – for the same reasons. This is around a rigorous critique of the very nature of conventional design processes as taught and practiced in the Global North, and how this may need to change in response to the demands of Urbal conversion. In particular, the author is intrigued by the opportunities suggested by the engagement process, and by the concept of Trans-disciplinary working, as evinced by Professer Tim Dixon (Dixon 2007). Specifically, the author was attracted to the academic system ‘The Mantle of The Expert’ in which school children learn by assuming and then playing-out roles within a designated project. As it would appear that one of the key thrusts of Urbalism will be a replacement of ‘Expertise’ with ‘Experience,’ the author would suggest that there may be merit in an exploration of Trans-disciplinary working through a concept we might call ‘The Mantle of The Amateur,’ in which qualified professionals deliberately step outside of their areas of expertise when collaborating on projects, in order properly to question ‘business as usual,’ and seek radically sustainable solutions (their expertise would, of course, also be fed back into the project by more conventional means).


CAT (2010)

Dixon, T. (2007) ‘A Fourth Dimension in Sustainable Urban Regeneration? Governance Structures, Sustainability and CSR in the Public and Private Sectors’, ESRC/NERC Transdisciplinary Seminar Series, Number 5: Sustainable Communities and Environmental Inequalities, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES)

Hoggett, Paul:

The Mantle of the Expert:

Thomas, K, Littlewood, S and Carver, S (2006) “The Countryside In and Around Towns: The Green Infrastructure of Yorkshire and the Humber” The Centre for Urban Development & Environmental Management (CUDEM) Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds Metropolitan University. (2010)

Full references for the video project here


Tom was awarded a Masters Degree with Distinction, and the LDA Design Prize, for “The Urbal Fix”

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