21st Century approach to garden cities outlined in Town and Country Planning Association publication

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is giving its long-standing garden city campaign a new boost with the publication of a book which offers a practical guide to building 21st Century garden cities.

TCPA's new garden city book offers a fresh perspective on an old idea. Image: RIBA Publishing
TCPA's new garden city book offers a fresh perspective on an old idea. Image: RIBA Publishing

The Art of Building a Garden City, published by RIBA Publishing and available from RIBA bookshops, offers a vision of 21st century garden cities as not only beautiful, but affordable, inclusive and resilient. The book brings together key findings from the TCPA’s campaign work, and draws on lessons from existing garden cities, new towns and other large-scale developments.

Katy Lock, who leads on the TCPA’s garden cities campaign, said: "We are in a unique position of having cross-party support for new garden cities as well as interest from councils and developers across the country. Our new book demonstrates that garden cities provide a powerful and unique model of development, and are much more than just homes with gardens, or a political buzzword for large-scale housing estates.

"The book explores the principles and values that should inform the design and delivery approach for new garden cities and identifies the steps that need to be taken in order to deliver the highest standards of design today.

"Above all it is designed to help reignite the ambition and enthusiasm for place-making that this nation once pioneered, and aims to provide a message of hope with a vital relevance for the future of our society."

The book is written by TCPA chief executive Kate Henderson, Katy Lock, the TCPA’s garden cities and new towns projects and policy manager and TCPA director of policy Dr Hugh Ellis.

CABE Chair of Building For Life Wayne Hemingway added: "In these times when so much doesn’t seem to make sense, a return to garden city principles is total common sense. It’s hard not to accept that growing inequality and rampant greed by some of our largest housing developers is making things much more difficult for those without family wealth or high paid jobs.

Garden city thinking has always been rooted in egalitarianism, community participation, placemaking and good design. Good design can help to unlock delivery and break down the oft justified opposition to the downright ugly estates that have become the calling card of some developers. Community participation and a sense of empowerment is what has been missing in so many people’s lives. This book demonstrates how garden cities can do so much more than just deliver decent places to live."

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