Summary of The Green Noose

An Analysis of Green Belts and Proposals for Reform

Adam Smith Institute, more...

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The Green Noose summary
Has the time come for the UK to rethink its “Green Belt” policy?


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Finding a balance between environmental protection and economic growth is not an easy task. Today, the UK is facing just this challenge. In this paper, public-policy analyst Tom Papworth of the Adam Smith Institute questions the practicality of the beliefs of economists, policy makers and environmentalists who support the UK’s “Green Belt” policy. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends Papworth’s cogent if controversial analysis to environmentalists, town planners and policy makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How green belts in the UK are a setback to its economic development, and counter-productive to businesses and households
  • Why urban green spaces are more accessible than green belts
  • How the UK can tackle its housing crisis by abolishing green belts


British politician Eric Pickles called “Green Belts” the “vital green lungs around…towns and cities.” These green belts – or greenways – cover about 13% of the total land area in England. They were created to prevent urban encroachment into rural areas and to serve as barriers to the merging of towns...
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About the Author

Tom Papworth is a fellow of The Adam Smith Institute and an associate director at CentreForum. He has more than 15 years of expertise in the field of public policy and research.

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