This is a Garden City (honest) #GardenCity

Some of My favorites for stretching the term.


Ajman Garden City.  If you want cheap and not so cheerful housing – with an conference of international urban planning expertese ‘sponsered by the University of Wolverhampton’ Ajman is your place.

Zenzou Garden City China – a real image not a joke – what not build a garden city on the roof of a mega mall.  You could fit Letchworth on top of Dubai Mall.


Westfield Garden City Perth – From the biggest mall developers in the world in the most provincial city in the world.  What could possibly go right.

Kampala Garden City – Designed by the British – landscape only plots for housing. Now the knobs/Ngos/Embassies quarter.  Miss it.


Mirny Garden City – Amazing what you can turn the worlds biggest hole in Eastern Siberia into (still at design stage)


Letchworth?  No Forest Hills Gardens in  New York State


 Village of Garden City Long island – unfair a mid 19th planned community around 5 railways stations.  Likley EH got the term, and concept of teh social city, from this development from his first states visit.  Now famous for zoining to keep out black people and losing court battle to do so.

Village Nature planned in France


Garden City Kansas – just try crossing the road.

Dresden Hellerau Garden City – better than  Letchworth even and Unwin would have agreed.


Zlin Garden City Czech Republic – very nice, especially if you are a fan of Bata shoes (who isnt).

Even Sau Paulo has one – Alto de Pinheiros

And Mexico City even Lomas de Chapultepec

Powell River Britsih Columbia – the whole town a national monument.

Another of my Favorites Tiong Bahru in Singapore. Built by the chinese  Ironically the Singaporians and from them the Chinese learned from this they medium rise housing could not scale or be built fast enough to cope with rapid urbaanisation.

There are hundreds, only England stopped building them, please send in your favorites.  I am trying to search for my favoritesovient built contructivist example in the Baltic, ill try and remember.

‘Locally Led’ Garden Cities Prospectus Published – Out goes the ‘Social City’


Seems like a clumsy number 10 red pen all over it – lots of examples:

Unlike the previous Government’s Eco-Towns programme, this is a local solution, giving communities the power to choose sites, plans and designs for Garden Cities, not (sic) rather than Whitehall imposing what it thinks best for local people.

A line also clumsily edited out of the appendix at last minute by the PM/DPM – and not proof read, and it shows.

So what do they mean by ‘Garden City’  To immunise themselves on this they quote the TCPA principles -without any editing – including the principles of land value capture and long term community stewardship of assets.  The only change is to mark down land value capture from point 1 to point 2, and deletion of the concept of social city, well Ebenezer was a libertarian socialist (great Friend of Anarchists Geddes and Kropotkin) and this hinted way to much of regional planning – afterall it was the origin of regional planning, the condemns liking.  On that small point Ol Uncle Ebenezer  would have curled slightly his mustache – but then he was always a supreme pragmatist.

Key Garden City principles include:

  • strong vision, leadership and community engagement (moved to top);

  • land value capture for the benefit of the community (moved from top);

  • community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets;

  • mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are affordable for ordinary people;

  • a strong local jobs offer in the Garden City itself, with a variety of employment opportunities within easy commuting distance of homes;

  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the very best of town and country living to create healthy homes in vibrant communities;

  • generous green space linked to the wider natural environment, including a surrounding belt of countryside to prevent sprawl, well connected and biodiversity rich public parks, and  a mix of public and private networks of well managed, high-quality gardens, tree-lined streets and open spaces;

  • opportunities for residents to grow their own food, including generous allotments;

  • strong local cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable neighbourhoods; and

  • integrated and accessible transport systems – with a series of settlements linked by rapid transport providing a full range of employment opportunities (as set out in Howard’s vision of the ‘Social City’).

Very short – nothing at all about setting down a positive enabling government (including legislative) framework.

Nothing at all about testing and comparing site options as part of a ‘larger than local’ approach – including of course alternatives of releasing existing Green Belt.  The assumption presumably is that the LPAs will do this – but how can they express an interest and how can a government back these unless they are already part of a local Plan process.  Hence this prospectus will simply back those already in the system and wont bring forward any new Garden Cities, least of all where they are most needed and most suited.

The government, as at Ebbsfleet, is only offering to overcome barriers to delivery, not any other barriers, least of all those created by nimbys.

I note that the expressions of interest checklist says nothings about stating methods for capturing land value uplift, and failing to learn the key Ecotowns lesson whether or not alternatives have been considered. Nothing either about meeting wider government growth or infrastructure objectives or aligning with wider infrastructure planning (e.g. East West rail etc.).

There is no requirement that the expressions of interest have to be put forward expressions of interest, the wording is very careful on this.  Localities can only choose whether to support the scheme and design, not to lead on the scheme or design.  ‘Locally led’ is the wrong term here  they are landowner led and locally vetoed.

Well its a start.  What if the privatye sector put forward a proposal and the government likes it – will that be a material planning consideration on appeal?  Certainly localities should be given the opportunity to veto as suggested but what if there then is an appeal?  And if government backing is material then surely the submissions, like Ecotowns, would require an SEA?  If governbment backing is in no way shape or form a material considerartion, providing a framework for development consents, then what is the point of the prospectus, other than pointing out what the large scale sites programme already does.

A start of a long messy journey from a prime minister who has given a speech praising regional planning for Garden Cities but doesn’t like Labour doing it.

Plan Adoption with an Early Review – Difference Between May be and Can be

There has been considerable uncertainty regarding whether the Act allows Local Plans to be adopted even though they are unsopund at teh date of adoption – subject to an early review.  One thinks of Dacroum EiP.  Otherwise Local plans could simply delay by three of four years being up to date., manipulating numbers to avoiud allocating a asensitive housing site this side of an electioon

Para 008 of gold guidance

Plans may be found sound conditional upon a review in whole or in part within five years of the date of adoption.

The key here is the difference grammatically between can be and may be.  We know that they can be – see the Dacorum inspectors report for example – where they dont have 10 years supply but do have 5.


The word can is used to denote ability.

I can swim. 
(I have the ability to swim.)

Can he lift 150 kgs? 
(Does he have the ability to lift 150 kgs?)


The word may is used to denote permission.

 You may swim in this river. 
(You are allowed to swim in this river.)

May I have a biscuit? 
(Am I permitted to have a biscuit?)

Anchorman can alloow many things, but what he may not do is give consent to go beyond the powers of the act.  There you see the difference.  We all know from the Reigategate debacle how good he is at forgetting to apply commas.

Garden Cities Prospectus to be Published Today – Clegg will Promise Three


Three new garden cities will be built in the “arc of prosperity” on countryside between Oxford and Cambridge under Liberal Democrat plans.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will today publish a long-awaited prospectus which he describes as a “call to arms” for a new generation of garden cities. He will say that the new garden cities, which will each have at least 15,000 new homes, will end the “resentment” caused by decades of “ad-hoc urban sprawl” and provide a solution to the “chronic” housing shortfall.

Mr Clegg’s vision for new garden cities, which will appear in the Lib-Dem manifesto, will put pressure on David Cameron to match his commitment.

The Prime Minister has backed a new garden city on industrial land in Ebbsfleet, Kent, but the Tories have yet to make any further commitments amid concerns that garden cities in the countryside could alienate Tory voters.

Mr Clegg is today expected to say: “We have allowed ad-hoc, urban sprawl to become a default solution, and it’s a bad one, breeding local resentment while not solving the resentment while not solving the problem. Today I’m publishing a new garden cities ‘prospectus’, which calls for local areas to submit their vision for garden cities that will provide affordable homes, good schools and jobs for the next generation, while at the same time preserving the countryside.”

The prospectus invites councils to put forward proposals for new garden cities with the support of their local communities. It states that they must be “ambitious” in scale, have good transport links, and be able to draw on private funding.

By the end of August the Government will begin working on three proposals for garden cities to help remove planning red tape and secure private funding.

The potential barriers to development will be discussed by a Cabinet committee chaired by Mr Clegg. Successful schemes will be able to claim a share of the £2.4 billion that the Government has put aside for housing development.

The report says garden cities will not be “imposed” on local authorities, and that new developments will ensure “public services, green spaces and amenities are hard-wired into designs from the beginning”.

From Dec 3rd Last  here- Will Clegg Screw Up Garden Cities Like Everything else he Touches.