“Cities are for people. They need to be liveable and sustainable and provide opportunities for people to live, learn, work, and play. They need to be attractive places for businesses and visitors while at the same time offering urban mobility and social equity to their people”.
Urban Land Institute
As world populations continue to increase developing New Towns as “integrated viable economies” could provide an alternative to the current “relocation-oriented” strategy, which has failed to effectively address the problems of informal dwellers, housing backlog, urban congestion and the continuing and seemingly relentless influx of people to cities.
In the UK the revival of New Town Development –coined Garden Cities once again by the Government following the ideas espoused by Ebenezer Howard – has surfaced as a result of the significant under-performance of house building industry over the last 20 years: too many people, not enough housing.
A particular concern is the potential loss of green spaces and important agricultural land. The green-field New Towns of the past paid little heed to today’s environmental restrictions. Yet 92 per cent of Great Britain remains undeveloped. We could develop a small fraction of our least attractive land and leave our countryside and existing communities largely unaffected. But can this be done with public support?
And what of the situation around the World? Mega-cities are being created placing huge pressures on infrastructure and the economy, often flanked by unplanned settlements with high levels of social deprivation. Whilst in China for example there is a plethora of Ghost Cities providing millions of square metres of space that are completely unoccupied.
This website aims to bring together ideas and information about New Town Development around the world; identifying successful schemes; highlighting pitfalls and endeavoring to reach conclusions that can help planners and those responsible for New Town development.