Map FAQs

Links to Tutorials are in the centre of the page

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I NAVIGATE around the map?

 

Who can be GUEST? (Anyone and everyone!) 

 

How do I LOG IN AS A GUEST to add pins that show fruit and veg etc on the guest layers?

 

Who can be a MEMBER?

 

How do I LOG IN AS A MEMBER to add and edit pins, discs and shapes on member layers?

 

How do I ALLOW COOKIES?

 

How do I decide WHICH LAYER to use for what, and can I make new layers?

 

How do I add, edit and delete NOTES? (And why can't I edit the note I put on a guest layer)?

 

What should I write in the NOTE?

 

How can I HIDE or UNHIDE an entry (and why would I want to?

 

How can I read all the notes in a layer (including LINKED NOTES) and / access the TABLE?

 

Why are the GUEST and MEMBER layers separate (but with some duplications)?

 

How ACCURATE do I need to be, and how RELIABLE is the data?

 

How does the SEARCH work?

 

How do I upload PHOTOS?

 

How can I EMBED the map into my own website?

 

Why is the project limited to LEEDS?

 

WHO is behind the project?

 

Where is the data stored, what COOKIES are used, and what is UI's PRIVACY policy?

 

How can I add events to the CALENDAR and embed it into my own website?

 

What are the known technical PROBLEMS?

 

What are the more DETAILED objectives and what does URBAL mean?

 

 

 

How do I navigate around the map?

 

Once you have finished reading this page, you may want to keep the How window open, to the side, for reference while you use the map.

 

Navigation Tutorials 

 

LAYER LIST AND TABLE

 

Open/close Member Layers using the name and/or grey/orange triangles. (When closed, the numbers indicate the number of layers inside).

 

Switch layers on and off by clicking on the layer name in the list. Bold names are 'on' and any entries on that layer will show in the map (but may take a moment to load). Some shapes are quite small or pale, so zoom in, or change the map view to find them.

 

Roll over D for a description of the layer.

 

Click T to see all the layer's notes as a table.

 

Change the table to a new layer by by clicking another T

 

Exit the table via Find on Map, Return to Map, or by selecting a layer.

 

ZOOM AND PAN

 

Zoom in and pan round the map using the Bing navigation controls at the top left of the map.

 

The map defaults to Birdseye (switch on labels to find your way around) or switch to Road view.

 

If the cursor seems to stick on the map, left or right click to free it (it's a Bing Bug).

 

LOCATE

 

Type a postcode or place name into the box to locate places on the map. Right-click on the locator to remove it.

 

NOTES

 

Right-click within any entry (apart from the large Boundary shapes, which are disabled) on the map to open its note box. (Some computers require control-click instead of right-click).

 

Left-click the X to close - or

 

Click More to see the note [pink] in the Layer Table - it may take a moment to load.

 

In the layer table Members can edit text, hide/show entries, swap layers and delete.

 

Each entry can hold up to 3 photos, which anyone can upload. (Top of page)

 

 

How do I log in as a guest to add fruit and veg pins etc on guest layers?

 

Once you have finished reading this page, you may want to keep the How window open, to the side, for reference while you use the map.

 

Guest Tutorial 

 

LOG IN

 

Anyone can log in as a guest, and we hope you will, but remember that guests can only add pins to the guest layers: Veg Growing (including allotments), Fruit and Nut Trees, Veg Shops (shops that sell fresh fruit and veg), and Questions and Suggestions. The GPS Photo Uploads layer can only be accessed by up loading on Location using a mobile device. (Note that the map, forum and calendar all require separate logins).

 

Type the word 'guest' into the email box below the map, and 'me' into the password' box, then click 'log in'. You'll see a welcome message and a new layer (orange) called __ Practice Pins at the top of the layer list, on the right (Test Pins is disabled).

 

PRACTICE PINS

 

IMPORTANT Make Practice Pins active [pink] by clicking on it.

 

Right-click anywhere on the map to add a pin. (Some computers require control-click instead of right-click)

 

Type your note into the box that opens, then choose 'Save' or 'Save and Hide', and you're done!

 

If the cursor seems to stick to the map at this point, a left-click should free it.

 

If you decided to hide your entry, you won't see it in the map - but we will (so thanks for the data). If not, you can open your note again by right-clicking on the pin.

 

Guests can't edit or delete entries (everyone has the same login so it would be chaos), but don't worry - if you make a mistake or change your mind just email us the ID number and we'll sort it for you.

 

The practice layer is routinely cleared by the Admin team.

 

REAL PINS

 

When you are confident, you can start adding pins to locate fruit and veg etc. on the permanent guest layers (Roll over D for a description of what each layer is for.):

 

• Veg Growing

• Fruit and Nut Trees

• Veg Shops

• Questions and Suggestions

 

When you have chosen which layer to use, click to make it active [pink] then zoom in and right-click as before. (Note that the pin is now in the new layer colour). Then add a note to tell us about the fruit or veg etc.

 

It's usually best only to have the active layer open when adding - so always turn off background layers, for example, first.

 

Members can add and redraw pins, discs and shapes on member layers, and pins on guest layers. If you'd like to get fully involved see logging in as a member. (Top of page)

 

 

Who can be a member? 

 

Anyone can become a member. All we ask is that you have a go as a guest first and then read round the site to check you are comfortable with what we are trying to achieve. We are particularly hoping to recruit food growers, food harvesters, horticulturalists, park managers, allotment holders, gardeners, landscape architects and designers, town planners, urban designers, civil servants, ecologists, wildlife experts and enthusiasts, twitchers, apiarists, drainage experts, microclimatologists, urban foresters, permaculturists, teachers, students - all ages, local activists, councillors, estate managers, developers, local businesses - particularly veg boxers and greengrocers of every hue, local transport groups, eco-builders and the like - but everyone is welcome!

 

Soon we will be launching the academic branch of the project: TRUG.

 

How to log in as a Member to add data. (Note that the map, forum and calendar all require separate logins).

 

 

How do I log in as a member to add and edit on member layers?

 

Once you have finished reading this page, you may want to keep the How window open, to the side, for reference while you use the map.

 

Member Tutorials 

 

Members can add and edit pins, discs and shapes on member layers, and edit any pins on guest layers that they add as a member (but not any they added as a Guest). You can only edit your own etries.

 

Anyone can become a member if they are willing to contribute positively. But please experiment as a guest first to find out how the site works, and read all the FAQs, before clicking on Request Membership. (Note that the map, forum and calendar all require separate logins)

 

Click on Request Membership, fill in the form and click 'Send Request.' (It may take us a little while to respond).

 

LOG IN 

 

When you receive our confirmation email, type your ID into the log-in boxes and click Log in.

 

You'll see a welcome message, plus a new layer group called Your Layers. This contains two new personal layers __ Your Pins and __ Your Shapes (orange) and Test and Practice Pins are disabled. You can save private notes for your own reference here. Unlike Test and Practice Pins, notes on Your Pins and Your Shapes are saved, but can only be seen by you whether hidden or not. (Notes on all the other layers are public).

 

Guest layers now function as member layers, so you can edit and delete any entries you now make as a member.

 

We reccommend adding entries on your private layers then moving them to the correct layers afterwards.

 

You can publish your private layers using the Embed feature if you choose to.

 

If the website logs out when you click from or to the map or table, or when you visit another page, you need to allow our cookie. Either allow all cookies, or just those from jackbliss.co.uk

 

Firefox - routinely remembers cookies unless you clear them or block them in Preferences > Privacy

 

Chrome - Chrome menu > Settings > Advanced Settings > Privacy > Content Settings > Cookies > Allow cookies by default

 

Safari - Preferences > Privacy > Block cookies > specify accept cookies

 

Internet Explorer - Tools > Internet Options > Privacy > move the slider to the bottom. Privacy policy

 

ADDING PINS (AND DISCS) 

 

Member Pins now function the same as Guest Pins

 

Member Pins Tutorial

 

Choose your layer then Right-click anywhere on the map to add a pin. (You may need to use control-click instead of right-click)

 

Members can Hide and Unhide their own entries at will in the Table. You'll see your hidden entries on the map marked 'H' - (as will we) - but they are invisible and unsearchable to everyone else.

 

On the Food Selling layers a 500m radius disk is automatically added to your location to represent a 'walking zone'. You will not be able to add entries within an existing disc (right-click will open the note, not add a disc). In this case, add to Your Pins, and then move to the correct disc layer.

 

ADDING SHAPES 

Member Shapes Tutorial 

 

It's best to have only the active layer open when adding shapes - and always turn off background layers, etc.

 

Practice adding shapes on the Your Shapes layer.

 

Zoom right in to the location, then right-click to add your first arrow.

 

Check by its colour that you are on the right layer, and note that it has a white dot to show it's the first arrow.

 

Keep right-clicking round the area you're mapping, until you get back to the first arrow, with the white dot. Then right-click on the first arrow again to close the shape (make sure you hit it accurately).

 

If you make a mistake just deselect the layer and start again.

 

MOVING PINS AND SHAPES 

 

You can swap an entry to a different layer using the Change Layer button in the Table. Choose your target layer from the menu (pins can only go to pins layers and shapes to shapes layers) then send or follow it to the new layer using Move or Move and Find.

 

'Copy' always copies to Your Pins (for pins and discs) or Your Shapes (for shapes). You can move them from there if you choose.

 

You can relocate a pin on the map, or redraw a shape, using Redraw. Click Redraw and select any entry (left-click).

 

Pins acquire a red dot. Left-click and drag to the new location, then save.

 

Shapes acquire a red line and all the arrows return. Left-click to drag the arrows to new locations. Hover over the red line for cross-hairs, then left-click to add a new arrow on the line which you can drag to create more detail. Then save.

 

Redraw Tutorial 

 

EDITING NOTES 

 

Right-click on a pin or shape to open its note box.

 

Click More to open the table (it will be the [pink] one).

 

Click Edit Text to amend your text, or Hide/Unhide, or Delete.

 

Exit the table via Find on Map, Return to Map, or by selecting a layer. (Hidden shapes have no outline, and can only be seen by you and us).

 

Members can only edit and delete data that they themselves have entered.

 

(Only we can link notes together. If you would like to link some notes, please send an email with the ID numbers).

 

MapChat, inside the member login, can only be seen by map members. (Top of page)

 

 

How do I decide which layer to use for what, and can I make new layers?

 

Layers Tutorial 

 

It's not possible for users to create new layers in the Urbal Map, because we already have about as many as the system can handle. (However, if you can make a strong case for an additional layer, please get in touch).

 

We hope you'll be able to find an existing layer to suit. The layer names should give you a strong clue. Roll over D for a more detailed explanation of the layer, and click T to see all the existing notes in that layer.

 

Guest layers are duplicated on the membership layers so that guest entries - which may have been entered by people who have not fully understood the criteria - can be verified and/or enhanced by members or the admin team. (More here on why this should be)

 

If in doubt, you can always add data to the private Your Pins or Your Shapes (where only you will see it) or to General Info or Suggestions (which everyone can see), with a note explaining your dilemma, and perhaps email us or visit the Forum or our Facebook page to discuss it. (Members please post on MapChat, accessed from the link in the log-in box).

 

You can move an entry once you have made it to a different layer using the Change Layer button in the Table. You can send or follow it to the new layer using Move or Move and Find. (Top of page)

 

 

How do I add, edit and delete notes?

 

Open the pin or shape by right-clicking on it. (You may need to use control-click instead of right-click).

 

To enter or edit text, left-click on More in the note box to display all the notes in that layer in table form (your note is the [pink] one).

 

Use Edit Text to write or edit in the text box, or Delete Text and Entry to clear. (You can't edit other people's entries).

 

Notes in Your Pins and Your Shapes can only be seen by you.

 

Notes on the other membership layers can be seen by everyone, but only edited or deleted by the person who made them or the Admin team. If you spot something you think may be wrong, please email us or post on MapChat, which is accessed from the link in the log-in box. Please do not post potentially confidential information in notes or on the public forum.

 

(Only we can link notes together. If you would like to link some notes, please send an email with the ID numbers). (Top of page)

 

 

What should I write in the note?

 

It's up to you really. You don't have to write anything, but it would be good to provide what info you can. Links are good, and you can put your own contact details if you need to - though we don't ask you to. (The Admin team will know who entered the note, but we don't publish names so they can't be phished). Please do not publish other people's details without express permission.

 

If you are logging a fruit tree, for example, you might want to say what type of fruit it is, and perhaps how easy you think it would be to harvest. If you are mapping soil data, then the note's going to be very important as that's where you'll enter the soil quality etc. If you're logging biodiversity you might want to list any special species you know about in the area you are mapping - but please don't mention anything that might attract collectors or vandals.

 

Sometimes you might want to ask a question or make a suggestion in a note, which is fine, and it would certainly be helpful if you told us how accurate you thought your info was. (It's ok not to be an expert, remember!)

 

You can't edit other people's notes. If you spot something you think may be wrong, please email us or visit the forum to discuss it. (Members please post on MapChat, which is accessed from the link in the log-in box).

 

Please do not put personal details into notes (except on Your Pins and Your Shapes, which are private), and please do not post potentially confidential information on the public forum.

 

(Only we can link notes together. If you would like to link some notes, please send an email with the ID numbers). (Top of page)

 

 

How can I hide or unhide an entry (and why would I want to)?

 

You might want to tell us about a badger set, but not make that infomation public.Or you might want to tell us about a tree in someone's garden, but not be sure if they'd want you to. But later, the owner of the tree might say it was ok.

 

Guests have the option to hide entries when they first make them, and once hidden even they can't see them - and they can't unhide them either. Our team can, however, unhide Guest entries if a fair case is given.

 

More commonly, Members hide (and unhide) their own entries. This can be done in the Layer Table (or Search Table).

 

How can I read all the notes in a layer / access the Layer table?

 

There are two ways to see all the layer notes in table form, together with a description of the layer.

 

1) Click on T in the layer list.

 

2) Right-click on an entry in the map to open its individual note, then click on More in the note box to see all the notes entered on that layer in list form. (If you have an older Mac, you may need to use control-click instead of right-click).

 

Exit the table via Find on Map, Return to Map, or by selecting a layer.

 

(Only we can link notes together. If you would like to link some notes, please send an email with the ID numbers). (Top of page)

 

 

Why are the guest and member layers separate (but with some duplicated layers)?

 

We want to make it as easy as possible for people to join in without having to worry too much about making a mistake or damaging someone's info - hence the guest layers - but we realise this means that some guest data may be a bit dodgy. This is not a problem as long as we keep guest data separate until its been checked and copied into the equivalent member layer.

 

Members are volunteers who help with the checking, and who also add their own data onto the other member layers. Anyone is welcome to become a member, but we do need to be confident that you understand how the site works, and we need to know who you are so we can get in touch when necessary - hence the separate member log in.

 

• Veg Growing is usually copied to Private Growing or Allotments

• Fruit and Nut Trees are usually copied to Fruit and Nut Trees 2

• Veg Shops are copied to the relevant Outlets layer

• School Notes are added to the school layers

• Questions and Suggestions are copied to an appropriate layer or responded to in some other way

• Photo uploads can only be made by mobile on location. (Top of page)

 

 

How accurate do I need to be, and how reliable is the data?

 

The more accurate you can be the better, but don't feel you have to be an expert to add data to the map. Others will have a look too and make suggestions, specially if you ask them to. The Urbal Map is more of a discussion than a source of copper-bottomed info.

 

The main thing is to zoom right in and try to get your pins or shapes in the right place. (You can always go and look in Google Street View, or some other source if you're really not sure where you are, and then come back to the Urbal Map).

 

Then tell us what you can in the note, and we'll take it from there. Bear in mind that this is a 'crowd-sourced' project, like Wikipedia, which is not always right all the time, but gets more reliable the more people contribute.

 

You can't edit other people's notes. If you spot something you think may be wrong, please email us or visit our Facebook page to discuss it. (Members please post on MapChat, accessed from the link in the log-in box). Please do not post potentially confidential information on the public Forum. (Top of page)

 

 

How does the search work?

 

Search Tutorial 

 

There are two search boxes - 'Locate' at the top of the map, and 'Search Entries' at the bottom of the layer list (look inside 'Show Search').

 

Locate: To locate somewhere on the map, type a post code, street name or other place name into the upper box, and click 'locate.' Right-click the locator pin to remove it.

 

Show Search: To search within the notes, type a word (such as 'apple' or 'compost') into the lower box, and click 'search entries.' It will search all the layers that are available at your log-in level, and display the results.

 

If you want to find a specific entry, and you know its ID, type it into the box, select ID from the drop down menu, and then search. It will display that entry's note in the map.

 

If you check the 'search only bold layers' box, it will only search in the layers that you've turned on.

 

NB Search results do not display all of the edit features. Click Find on Map then More to re-open in the Table for full edit functionality. (Top of page)

 

 

How do I upload a photo?

 

There are two ways.

 

1) If you are working at home, work, school etc. please use the Upload a Photo button in the layer table. (Just click 'more' in the note). Then choose a photo on your computer and click upload. Each entry can hold three photos.

 

2) The second way is to use your mobile on location to upload photos directly to the GPS Photo Uploads layer. They will automatically be positioned on the map roughly where you where when you uploaded. We will then copy the information to the appropriate layer, so please always upload on location, where you took the photo, NOT at home, school or work - or we won't know where to put your pins.

 

(If you do prefer to upload photos from a computer, please proceed as per (1) above. You cannot add pins to the GPS Photo Uploads layer by clicking on the map, so please choose a different layer. You can, however, add more photos to ones uploaded from mobiles, by finding them in the layer table).

 

First take your photo.

 

Then make sure you have GPS positioning enabled in your device settings, and Enable Location on in your mobile browser settings, and that you are connected to the internet. (iPhone etc. users will need to download the picup app).

 

Next, go to www.urbal.tv on your mobile, and click the 'GPS Photo Uploads' link in the top left of the home page (which you can only see on mobiles).

 

On the upload page, type a description of your photo (saying what kind of tree you think it is, or whatever) and also EXACTLY where it is, because the GPS is not very accurate and we'll need to locate the tree or area precisely from your note using the Birds eye view.

 

Then find the photo on your device, and click upload.

 

A pin will appear on the GPS Photo Upload Layer, with your photo inside, Click 'more' in the note to find it in the note table.

 

If you need to delete a photo, please send an email with the ID of the pin, and we will delete for you. (Top of page)

 

 

How do I embed the map into my own website?

 

When you log in to the map, you'll see this link below the login; 'Get the embed code for a read-only version of the map.' This opens a box where you can choose which layers you want to display (including your private layers if you like). Next is a box with the message 'To make your map automatically open on a specific entry, enter its ID in the box below. Otherwise, leave it blank.' If there is one specific note on the map, such as the one that identifies your project, that you would like your read-only map to display on entry, then type its ID number (which you can find in the Table by clicking 'More' in the note ) into the box, and click OK. This opens another box with the map embed code in it. Copy this code, and then paste it into your own website the way you would embed a YouTube video, for example.

 

To make a completely separate map of a different town or city, click here. (Top of page)

 

 

Why is the project limited to Leeds?

 

We are based in Leeds, and knew the city happened to be an ideal shape for urbal conversion, so used it as a case study in The Urbal Fix. It makes sense to base this research here too - for now. We do not define a boundary because in reality there is none, but relevant factors would include the watershed (catchment area), Local Authority area, Westminster Wards and the '66% peri-urban zone' suggested in the film.

 

In theory you can scroll to any location in the world and enter data, but if lots of people did this it would soon overload our server. So if you'd like to make an Urbal Map for your town or city, please email us and we'll help you as best we can. (Top of page)

 

 

Who is behind the project?

 

Tom Bliss (researcher) and Jack Bliss (webmaster) via The Urbal Institute.

 

Tom is a filmmaker, landscape architect, writer and musician, who teaches landscape / sustainability part time at Leeds Metropolitan University and is - by pure chance - Ebenezer Howard's first cousin thrice removed (EH was Tom's Gt Grandfather's first cousin).

 

Jack is Tom's son and therefore EH's first cousin four times removed.

 

The map is a central tool of the TRUG project. (Top of page)

 

 

Where is the data stored, what cookies are used, and what is UI's privacy policy?

 

Guest entries are non-specific, so no personal details are required and none are stored.

 

Members' data is, however, stored. Log-in details and MapChat entries are saved on the Urbal Institute server and not with Bing or any other provider. They are not published nor used for any commercial or marketing purpose, nor passed on to any third party. (Bing copyright rules do however apply to the entries made on the Bing map itself).

 

To facilitate communication between members, we do display email addresses to other members, but not to Guests or to casual browsers.

 

We advise users to think before adding their own personal details to notes on public layers, and ask that no personal details be added unless the person concerned has requested it, or if the data is already in the public domain. (Members have two layers that only they and the Admin team can see, where they can add private notes).

 

We also encourage users to hide any entries that may draw attention to private land or property. This data is available to researchers who will respect confidentiality.

 

The map page does use essential and functional cookies (from both turnstone.tv and jackbliss.co.uk) to save you from having to reopen layers whenever you enter or leave the table, and to allow you to return to the map page (from here, for example) without having to log in again. We do not currently use performance cookies (to measure the site's performance) though this may change, and we do not use behaviourally targeted advertising cookies (though the embedded forum and calendar may do so). You can disable cookies in your browser, but if you do, the map may not work properly.

 

Forum log-ins are stored by FreeForums.org, and Calendar log-ins by Google. Please check FreeForums and Google for their respoctive cookie and privacy policies. (Top of page)

 

 

How can I add events to the calendar and embed it in my own website?

 

Please email if you would like to be able to edit the Google calendar. If you have a Google account we'll log you in. If not, you'll receive an invitation email to sign up to Google.

 

To embed it into your own website, log in to the master version on Google (follow the link at the bottom right of the Calendar frame), click on the triangle link next to LEEDS GREEN EVENTS in My Calendars on the left, choose Calendar Settings, then 'Customise the colour, size and other options' link in the Embed This Calendar section. Choose your preferences, and then copy the HTML code in the box and paste it into an iFrame on the web page where you want to display the Calendar. (Top of page)

 

 

What are the known technical problems?

 

1) Sometimes the map 'sticks' to the cursor when you come out of a note in guest mode. If so, a left-click (or, occasionally, right-click) should free it. Failing that, reload the page and try again.

 

2) On some computers, specially older Macs, you may need to use control-click instead of right-click. (We'd have preferred left-click throughout, but it was not technically possible).

 

3) Please make sure you are using an up-to-date browser (early Firefox may not allow right-click or control-click, for example) and that you are set to allow cookies. If the map goes to Jack's 404 page when you click to the layer list from the table, or logs out when you don't expect it to, it's probably because your computer is blocking our cookies.

 

4) If the map gets into a muddle and does not seem to be doing what you expect, please try a) reselecting the layer, b) refreshing the page, c) quitting the browser, or d) logging out and logging in again (some browsers will remember log-in after quitting).

 

5) Sometimes the map does not let you add data to a layer if there is already data there on a different layer - e.g. a background layer. Simple solution; switch off the other layer/s while you add.

 

6) If, when you are making a shape, you click the first arrow again and all the arrows disappear instead of a shape appearing - please try again. (This is a bug that we can't currently find).

 

7) If the map adds an arrow when you merely wanted to open a note, you are missing the shape with your click. Reselect the layer and try again.

 

8) If the map adds an arow when you were expect a pin,(or vice versa) just reselect the layer. It does get confused sometimes.

 

9) If you cannot see a map at all - just a blank green area, then the chances are your firewall or cookie settings are blocking the map frame.

 

10) GPS Upload is currently not possible from iPhones etc. We are working on this.

 

MAC We believe the map to be now working ok with the latest Firefox, Safari and Chrome on Mac OSX.

 

PC We believe the map to be now working ok with the latest Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome on PC Vista.

 

We have not yet tested Opera, or any other operating systems.

 

We are working to improve functionality in all browsers on all platforms.

 

Please tell us what you think / point out any problems. (Top of page)

 

 

What are the more detailed objectives, and what does 'Urbal' mean?

 

We use the word 'Rurban' - a conflation of 'Rural 'and 'Urban' - to describe the bleeding of unsustainable urban consumerism into formerly healthy rural resources.

 

While working on his Masters, Tom Bliss coined the word 'Urbal' to describe a reversal of that process: The injection of countryside, or more specifically; healthy green productivity, deep into the heart of cities. His theories are explained more fully in The Urbal Fix. (Bliss 2010)

 

To put it another way, we are used to viewing cities as having a beating historical-commercial heart feeding arteries that radiate through the metropolis and out into the rural hinterland. This is the model which has given us Rurban consumerism - and most of the problems we face today.

 

The Urbal model suggests that the resilient, sustainable city has also to flow in the opposite direction. The heart (or perhaps liver) of the city is in truth the surrounding countryside with its fresh food, fresh air and fresh water, and its psychospiritual power - and the veins must form a green network, reaching into and through the city to help delineate a new localised, productive, ecologically robust walking-based social structure.

 

Our objective now is to find tools to deliver this.

 

Current thinking is rooted in the pre-combustion-engine ideas of Ebenezer Howard (Howard 1899) and Viljoen and Bohn's innovative CPUL* theory (Viljoen and Bohn 2008). (*Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes).

 

Our primary tool, The Urbal Map, feeds into a larger research project called TRUG (Trans-disciplinary Research: Urbal Group).

 

TRUG is, to an extent, an open source project which could go in a number of directions, but in the early stages we hope, using the map,

 

1) to identify housing in Leeds more than 500m (a reasonable walking distance with shopping) from a shop selling reasonably priced fresh fruit & veg (Donkin et al 1999, and Wrigley et al 2002: Urban Food Deserts)

 

2) to identify housing more than 300m from 2ha of green space (Natural England 2009: Urban Wellbeing Deserts)

 

3) to compare the distribution of green infrastructure, walking distances, public transport links etc. with Howard's Social City blueprint - which has become instructive again today because it dates from a time before cars, and was intended to operate on co-operative principles in a low-growth economy - both concepts that are becoming increasingly relevant again today.

 

4) to obtain detailed information about soils, vegetation, water, contamination, planning restrictions, land use, land ownership etc for all existing urban green spaces - major parks, allotments, private gardens, road verges, small patches of grass and bushes etc. - and so start to map the city's ecosystem service veins in preparation for the establishment of CPULs.

 

5) to identify and assess existing and potential sites for food growing projects, active travel routes, improved parks, urban woodlands, forest gardens etc. and establish how these might be co-linked and co-developed to deliver maximum ecologically-robust productivity.

 

6) to facilitate fruitful debate and progress by sharing ideas and information around all of the above issues between interested parties at all levels in the city; food growers, sports clubs, wildlife groups, local activists, planners, developers, environmental professionals, local businesses, city fathers - everyone with an interest in changing the way the city works for the better.

 

URBAL PLANNING

 

We think of the Urbal Map as a self-updating masterplan, a lightning rod between 'bottom up' and 'top down' actors, a way of putting 'expert' information into the public domain where it can be used democratically, and a hub through which disparate sustainability-related initiatives can connect and progress. To this end, administrators and TRUG researchers can see additional Urbal Planning layers (which are currently not published for copyright and/or technical reasons).

 

Legal and Planning Issues

Urban Wellbeing Deserts

Urban Food Deserts

Active Travel Routes

Biodiversity Links

CPUL Areas

 

These layers are where we hope the conceptual masterplan mapping will begin to take shape. In due course we hope these layers can be published so that members and the general public can take part in the debate.

 

If you have ideas on these issues please feel free to add them to Your Pins or Your Shapes where only you and we will see them, or to General Info or Suggestions, which everyone can see.

 

In due course we would like, if possible, to map additional data here, such as the thermal performance of buildings, local power generation, green transport, sustainable urban drainage and other sustainability-related social issues.

 

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