Major Garden Cities and New Towns study launched

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has called on the Government to learn from the Garden Cities and post-war New Towns programme.

Image: MorgueFile
Image: MorgueFile

The association is recommending that Government adopt a local authority-led process to designate new garden cities as a way to address the housing crisis.

Its new report, New Towns and Garden Cities: Lessons for Delivering a New Generation of Garden Cities, explores common assumptions about the Garden Cities and New Towns programme, including the misconception that it was a top-down state-led imitative which imposed large built up areas on communities that did not want them.

Rather than being a strain on the public purse, the New Towns programme proved profitable for the Treasury and still provides income for the Government today, the report found.

TCPA chief executive Kate Henderson said both garden cities and New Towns were "visionary experiments" in finding a better way to live. 

"With garden cities firmly on the political agenda it is important to learn the lessons – good and bad – from what has been done before. Creating new communities is complicated and we need to have the right tools for the job. We also need long-term political leadership and commitment to good place-making that transcends political cycles.

"We believe that new garden cities should combine the very high social and environmental standards of garden cities with the highly effective delivery mechanisms of the post-war New Towns, incorporating the best of both approaches."

The report was launched at the TCPA conference 'New Towns - past, present, future', held on 15 September in London. It includes a number of key recommendations in areas such paying for and encouraging support for new Garden Cities.

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