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Ebenezer Howard Versus Garden Communities

For a long time now, I have had an uneasy relationship with the late Sir Ebenezer Howard. He was, without doubt, a remarkable man, whose ideas have spread around the world. He disproves Shakespeare-apos-s belief about the evil that men do living after them, while the good is oft interred with their ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 15 January 2020

Augean Stables

I suppose if I had just returned from a long and lonesome space voyage to Mars, I would be delighted to discover the Government is planning to spend around a hundred billion pounds or so on rail investment in England. But, as we all know, although that cash could pay for many high priorities like li...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 14 January 2020

A Happy And Smart New Year To You All

The Queen was perfectly accurate in her assessment that it may have felt quite bumpy at times this year. It certainly did. It was, after all, a year which saw the Brexit debate come to a head and an extremely divisive general election. It saw conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere take even ugli...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 31 December 2019

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PRESS RELEASE Garden Towns and Villages

Added on 04 May 2017

A new report from the Smart Growth UK coalition on the Government&rsquos programme for garden towns and villages has found there is little to distinguish them from traditional greenfield sprawl and they have serious sustainability shortcomings.

The report includes input from some of the community bodies opposing the developments and says the high moral tone of promoters is at odds with the reality of their proposals. Most of the 10 garden towns and 14 garden villages endorsed by the Department for Communities and Local Government are simply existing urban extension proposals rebadged, with added &ldquogreen-wash&rdquo.

The garden towns are mostly agglomerations of existing urban extension plans, often miles apart and having little or no relationship to one another. They are not towns at all, in fact several are simply blobs of urban sprawl outside more than one existing town.

Only three out of 14 garden villages meet DCLG&rsquos stipulation that they should be new settlements. Few of the garden towns or villages make much use of brownfield land and most are predominantly or wholly greenfield. Most would place heavy demands on local infrastructure.

Adherence to the &ldquogarden city&rdquo principle of low-density development means all of them are set to be basically car-dependent. There is virtually no sign of the transit-oriented development that modern sustainable development demands and they would add to local traffic congestion.

Even if all 24 were ever completed, they would make very little contribution to housing shortages and few are located in areas of greatest need. Some include substantial employment space &ndash but this would just increase housing demand in areas where local people are already finding it hard to find homes for their families. Others would create thousands more homes in areas of low-demand and stagnant markets.

They are supposed to enjoy &ldquocommunity support&rdquo but local opposition is growing despite the heavily moralistic tone of their promoters. The report recommends a Smart Growth alternative approach for meeting our housing needs.

Report

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