Guardian Letter on the Boles Speech

About from tow paras, third para, which is simply unrealistic and will not meet nearly enough housing need, the last para. which does not account for the reaction against bylawe terraces which led to the Garden Cities movement, I think this is spot on.  David were these Victorian typologies on greenfield land or not?

Guardian

Nick Boles talks about everybody’s “right to a home with a little bit of ground around it”, and refers blithely to the fact that only (sic) 10% of our land is “developed”. Perhaps someone should remind him that England has the highest population density in Europe. There are four of us for every hectare of land, a hectare being about the size of a rugby pitch.

It simply isn’t an option to continue to replicate the 20th-century pattern of low-density housing, typically 25 dwellings per hectare, that produced our sprawling suburbs. Lower-density housing requires more infrastructure, is wasteful of energy, generates more traffic, rarely achieves the critical mass to support basic services, and fails to encourage social cohesion. Furthermore, it threatens our vulnerable countryside.

We have a highly urbanised population and we need to concentrate on creating compact and civilised urban environments within existing conurbations rather than encroaching on green fields.

During the 19th century our forefathers led the world in developing compact and efficient urban housing typologies. They created patterns of streets and squares punctuated with communal gardens, allotments and parks using continuous rows of narrow-fronted houses with small courtyard gardens and achieved densities at least two to three times higher than those of later suburban developments. Perhaps Mr Boles could learn from their example?
David Robson
Hove, East Sussex

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About andrew lainton

International Urban Planner

Posted on December 3, 2012, in urban planning. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think David Robson has Brighton and Hove’s Regency terraces and squares very much in mind. A contemporary equivalent is possible. Build housing around a square/rectangular/circular perimeter with small patios behind each, wih a large communal garden in the middle. Obvs need an emergency access point but nice and safe for providing safe playspace of substance or for sitting out somewhere nice and green that is not actually public or dog fouled (hopefully).

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