The English New Towns revisited

At a time when Garden Cities are at the top of the planning agenda (again) it is rather appropriate that the Bartlett’s Professor Matthew Carmona’s excellent Urban Design primer has just been published. Happily my colleague Dr Kayvan Karimi invited me to join him in writing a contribution to the book. The result is a writing-up of a longstanding ‘double-act’ session we give on the Adaptable Cities module on the MSc/MRes Spatial Design, the outcome of Kayvan’s intensive scrutiny of a large number of New Towns across the UK.

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The book can be purchased this month at a discount. In the spirit of open access I provide our own ‘pre-publication’ version of the chapter to download from here.

Borehamwood and ‘The Good Life’

Our ongoing work at UCL on a food basket project based in Borehamwood has led me to revisit a podcast of an interview with Professor Laurie Taylor on 22nd September 2004 (see link to download recording below).

The recording coincided with ‘The Good Life’ launch conference of the Centre for Suburban Studies at Kingston University and Professor Taylor travelled down on the Thameslink line to hear how Borehamwood serves as an interesting example of sustainable suburbia. Despite it having gone through some considerable change in the past nine years, the statement made in the article published soon after the programme seems to still hold true: Borehamwood’s street layout has “allowed it to grow whilst maintaining its original spatial pattern as a village and subsequently as a suburban town… [it] accommodates the various populations of the town – people living and working locally; people living there and commuting to work elsewhere and people coming into the area to work.”

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