2 Opinion Page June 1 2023 | World and Press What would a genuine plan for levelling up the north of England look like? NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE Germany has laws requiring equality between the states and a funding regime to make it happen. Imagine that kind of Britain. Training | mündl. Prüfung By Andy Burnham 1 TODAY a minister will wow political and business leaders from across the north of England with his government’s achievements on levelling up. Sadly, I am not talking about a UK minister, although Michael Gove will no doubt be warmly received. I am instead referring to Carsten Schneider, minister for East Germany and equivalent living conditions. 2 Schneider will tell the Convention of the North in Manchester: “The goal of creating equal living conditions everywhere in Germany can even be found in our constitution. There are good reasons for it. If regions are drifting apart, it is bad for everyone. If a variety of regions flourish, the whole country will prosper.” 3 This is what real levelling comment up looks like: a basic law in the German constitution requiring equality between the 16 states and an annual process of funding redistribution to support it. When you visit Germany, you can see and feel the success of this policy wherever you go in the high standards of transport infrastructure and the public realm. 4 The great irony is that Britain had a big hand in creating it. In the aftermath of the war, to prevent a concentration of political power in Berlin, the allies drew up new boundaries for the German states and gave them real autonomy. It has worked spectacularly well and is a model of nation-building. 5 Can you imagine what Britain would be like today if we had applied the same policy here? All the great cities of the north of England would be connected by high-speed railway lines instead of crumbling Victorian infrastructure. Manchester would almost certainly have an underground system, like other European cities of the same size and influence, and Leeds a mass transit system. The north would have a modern industrial base and a bigger economy. Our jobs and homes would be better; people would be living longer and in better health. 6 When you consider this alternative vision of what the north could have been alongside today’s reality of unequal living standards, you can see why the mood is becoming mutinous. Whitehall’s version of levelling up – where places have to plead on bended knee for funding, and the names of winners and losers are handed down from on high – only confirms to many what is wrong with the way the country is run. Do they realise how they are coming over? I doubt it. 7 And yet, they have achieved one thing not seen before: the unification of the north of England across geographical and political lines behind a call for change. Today’s convention, the fourth and biggest yet, is proof of that. The north is getting organised. Our voice is getting louder. We are politely, but firmly, telling all political parties that things are going to have to be different. This is not northern whingeing. Instead, it is a positive offer to UK PLC to let us contribute more and write a new story for ourselves over the rest of this century. 8 The idea that the north of England cannot achieve the same economic power as other parts of the UK is not borne out by history. In the 19th century, the great cities of the north built Britain’s wealth. Liverpool was one of the most powerful ports in the world; Manchester was the global hub of the cotton industry. These two cities pioneered rail travel. An illustration of Manchester’s economic and political power came in 1862 with the refusal of its mill workers to handle slave-picked cotton, a decision that helped to end the American Civil War. 9 Our decline in the 20th century was not due to any weaknesses of ours but to hostile national policy, particularly on industry and infrastructure. Can the north rise again in the 21st century? Put that question to today’s convention, and you would get a unanimous yes. The issue is whether Whitehall is prepared to let us try. The new devolution deal for a united north-east gives grounds for hope, as do our trailblazer talks with the government on deepening devolution in Greater Manchester. 10 One of our proposals is to convert Greater Manchester’s funding into a single grant – similar to the way Whitehall funds Scotland and Wales. This would allow us to break out of the constraints of the departmental silos and deploy funding more flexibly. 11 But it has a wider significance. It could create the first building block in a new funding settlement for the English regions. If all areas were to move over time to the same model, with a commitment to equal living standards hardwired into UK law, we would at last have an architecture to support Germanstyle levelling up. The north would need its own version of the Barnett formula applied to this to close gaps in living standards with the rest. This is the scale of change England needs if it is not to become even more divided. … © 2023 Guardian News and Media Ltd 0 – 2 GENUINE h.: wirksam — to level up h.: wirtschaftlich stärken; s.w.u. levelling up das wirtschaftl. Ungleichgewicht zw. Regionen reduzieren — funding regime Finanzierungssystem — to wow (coll) begeistern — minister for East Germany Staatsminister(in) und Beauftragte(r) der Bundesregierung für Ostdeutschland — convention Tagung — to flourish florieren — to prosper h.: Wachstum und Wohlstand erfahren 3 – 4 basic law Grundgesetz — funding redistribution Finanzausgleich (funding staatl. Mittel) — the public realm der öffentl. Raum — to have a big hand (in) großen Anteil haben (an) — aftermath Folgezeit — allies Alliierte — boundary Grenze 5 – 7 crumbling verfallend — mass transit system öffentl. Personennahverkehrssystem — industrial base Industrie — mutinous rebellierend — to plead on bended knees (for) auf Knien bitten (um) — to come over wirken — unification Vereinigung — firmly bestimmt — whingeing Gejammer — UK PLC (fig) Wirtschaftsstandort Großbritannien 8 – 9 to bear out bestätigen; h.: belegen — hub Zentrum — refusal Weigerung — mill worker Fabrikarbeiter(in) — decline Niedergang — hostile ablehnend (eingestellt) — unanimous einstimmig — devolution Dezentralisierung — to give grounds for hope Hoffnung nähren — trailblazer talks wegbereitende Gespräche (tr. Vorreiter) 10 – 11 to convert umwandeln — grant Fördersumme — Whitehall (fig) brit. Regierung — constraint Zwang — departmental silos (fig) isolierte Verwaltungsstrukturen — to deploy einsetzen — settlement Einigung; Ausgleich — commitment Verpflichtung — to hardwire fest verankern — Barnett formula Barnett-Formel (Kalkulierungsgrundlage für die Verteilung der Zuschüsse für England, Schottland, Wales und Nordirland) impressum ISSN 0509-1632 Nancy Pelosi retires. | Cartoon: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, NY World and Press erscheint 2 × monatlich (Juli und Dezember als Doppelausgabe) in der Carl Ed. 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World and Press | June 1 2023 Awash in asphalt, cities rethink their parking needs CITIES Across the U.S., the minimum number of spots for shopping centers and apartment complexes is being scaled back. By Jane Margolies 1 SPYING an empty spot in a parking lot, a driver flicks on the turn signal and steers the car into the space. This little maneuver happens so often across the country that it’s done almost without a second thought. But now, the humble parking spot is suddenly a hot topic. Scrutinizing their parking regulations, cities across the nation are rolling back requirements for new development. 2 The United States has about 2 billion parking spots, according to some estimates – nearly seven for every car. In some cities, as much as 14% of land area is covered with the black asphalt that engulfs malls, apartment buildings, and commercial strips. The fact that the country is awash in parking spots stems from America’s long-standing love affair with the car, compounded by arcane zoning codes that mandate offstreet parking for real estate projects. But paving over paradise, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell, is now being blamed for a number of societal woes, including the housing crisis, climate change, and the rise in fatalities among pedestrians and cyclists. 3 The idea that the country has an overabundance of parking may come as a surprise to residents of big cities like Chicago, New York, and Washington, where drivers are routinely hunting for a spot and sometimes even get into fights over parking spaces. Some worry that rolling back mandates may make it even harder to find that coveted spot. But in city after city, minimum parking requirements, as they are called, are being struck down, thrilling progressives and real estate developers alike. “It’s snowballing,” said A strip mall’s parking lot in Edgewater, N.J. | Photo: Ben Sklar/The New York Times A bike lane protected by a curb in Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo eliminated park spot mandates in 2017. | Photo: George Etheridge/The New York Times ing up a communications job at Zoom – and a commute that took an hour each way, which cut into the time she spent with her two young sons. “Remote is going to be my future,” Barolo said. 6 The move to reduce parking lots has particular relevance for real estate. “We think it’s the future,” said Dirk Aulabaugh, an executive vice president at Green Street, a real estate analytics firm. 7 Off-street parking sprang up in the 1920s with the rise in car ownership. Concerned that there would not be enough curb space for vehicles, towns and cities started to require that stores or apartment complexes provided parking for customers and tenants. In the postwar period, when Americans were in thrall with the automobile, and the federal Cars line a street in Plain City, Ohio, in August 1938. | Photo: Library of Congress/The New York Times Jeff Speck, a city planner and the author of ‘Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.’ 4 Despite pushback from some residents not ready to share their favorite spot, hundreds of cities, from Gainesville, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska, have overhauled their parking requirements. Dozens have repealed them – 15 in 2022 alone. 5 Changes in work modes may be coming into play: The rise in popularity of remote and hybrid work arrangements means fewer office workers are commuting daily, decreasing the need for parking. Priscilla Barolo of Carmel, California, found she no longer needed a parking spot when she started her own consulting business from home, givgovernment unfurled highways across the land, parking minimums were enshrined in zoning codes to ensure that drivers would always find a paved parallelogram waiting for them at the end of their trip. 8 The rules were exacting: one parking space per apartment, for example, or one for every 300 square feet of a commercial building. It all sounded scientific, but these ratios were not based on any verifiable data about how many spaces were needed, said Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA, who has been railing since the 1970s against the requirements, which he calls a pseudoscience. 9 Nevertheless, towns copied the rules from other towns until the requirements were codified In Focus 3 across the country, and people started to think of free parking as a right. No wonder there’s even a spot for it on the Monopoly board. But parking mandates encourage car ownership and use, Shoup said. They pockmark downtowns with stretches of asphalt that separate businesses and spread out cities, leading to more driving and more parking, even in areas with mass transit. 10 The mandates also constrain developers, who need to allot precious space to parking, driving up costs that are often passed on to tenants and customers. Even a basic, stand-alone parking structure costs nearly ,000 per spot on average, not including land, said Rob McConnell, a vice president at WGI, an engineering firm. And underground parking costs twice as much, he added. 11 Officials in Buffalo, New York, decided there had to be a better way. In 2017, the city eliminated minimum parking mandates for new developments, leaving it up to developers to figure out how much to provide. A 2021 study revealed that after the repeal, 47% of major developments provided 21% fewer spaces on average. And projects in Buffalo that might not have been feasible before the repeal suddenly were, including one with affordable apartments that was built, coincidentally, on a former parking lot. … 12 Overturning the requirements is not the only way parking lots are being refashioned. There have been efforts to landscape them with plants to absorb rainfall rather than letting it run off, which can cause flooding. The greenery can also reduce heat radiating from the asphalt. Some lots have been transformed into parks, while others are topped with solar panels to provide power as well as shade. 13 Not everyone is a fan of the reforms. Those with disabilities need to be able to park close to where they are going, McConnell of WGI said. Much of the time, however, objections to repealing minimums come from homeowners who fear their neighborhoods will be overrun with cars. … © 2023 The New York Times Company This article originally appeared in The New York Times. 0 – 1 AWASH IN(fig) überzogen von — to rethink überdenken — to scale back reduzieren — to spy erblicken — to flick the turn signal den Blinker anstellen — without a second thought ohne nachzudenken — humble einfach — to scrutinize auf den Prüfstand stellen — to roll back; s.w.u. to repeal aufheben — requirement Vorschrift; Bedarf — new development Neubau; s.w.u. developer Bauunternehmer(in) 2 to engulf umgeben — commercial strip Einkaufsstraße — to stem from herrühren von — to compound verschlimmern — arcane undurchsichtig — zoning codes Bebauungsvorschriften — to mandate vorschreiben; s.w.u. mandate Vorschrift — real estate Immobilien- — to pave over zupflastern — societal woes gesellschaftl. Probleme — fatality Todesopfer 3 overabundance Überangebot — routinely regelmäßig — coveted heiß begehrt — to strike down abschaffen; s.w.u. to overturn — to thrill entzücken — progressive polit. links tendierende Person — to snowball (fig) s. rasant ausweiten 4 – 6 pushback Widerstand — to overhaul überarbeiten — remote work mobiles Arbeiten — hybrid work Mischung aus mobilem Arbeiten und Präsenzarbeit — to commute pendeln; s.w.u. c. Arbeitsweg — consulting business Beratungsfirma — executive vice president Vorstandsmitglied 7 – 8 to spring up entstehen — curb (AE) Bordstein — to be in thrall with s.th. von etw. völlig abhängig sein — to unfurl ausrollen; h.: bauen — to enshrine fest verankern — exacting anspruchsvoll; genau — 300 sq ft ca. 27,9 m 2 — ratio Quote — verifiable belegbar — UCLA = University of California, Los Angeles — to rail against wettern gegen 9 – 11 to codify festschreiben — to pockmark (fig) übersäen; verunstalten — mass transit öffentl. Nahverkehr — to constrain einschränken — to allot to zuweisen; einkalkulieren — official Behördenmitarbeiter(in) — feasible realisierbar — coincidentally zufälligerweise 12 – 13 to refashion umgestalten — to landscape landschaftsgärtnerisch gestalten — greenery Begrünung — to radiate abstrahlen — to top with überdachen mit — objection to Widerspruch gegen