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Garden City comeback?

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has formally asked the Town and Country Planning Association to “reinvent the garden city for the 21st century”.

He has suggested that the TCPA should “start a discussion with developers, investors, designers, local authorities and most importantly of all community groups, to reinvent the garden city for the 21st century”.

He said: “If local communities want to use the provisions in the Localism Bill, once it is enacted, they will be able to take control, to plan and to own and manage assets and with visionary investment backing we could see some new garden cities in the near future.”

TCPA chief executive Kate Henderson said: “The TCPA wants to bring together the pragmatic lessons of the garden cities in taking forward new, comprehensively planned new communities. Working across the different sectors, we will seek to examine these lessons in the context of the Government’s planning reform agenda so that we can move forward into a new era of building attractive, resilient and sustainable places.”

A recent TCPA report, ‘Re-imagining Garden Cities for the 21st Century’, supported by Land Securities, argued it was time to “rediscover and re-imagine the garden city principles if we are to overcome the stigma of building new communities - a stigma that was not associated with the garden cities but one that has come from too many poor developments with inadequate infrastructure provision”.

It is now 40 years since the last of UK’s garden cities was designated.

Read the TCPA press release.


Roger Milne

22 September 2011