The original Garden City movement seems a little quaint to our sophisticated 21st century eyes. Born at the end of the Victorian era, when traditional cities had become overcrowded, industrialised and polluted, the idea was to combine the healthy lifestyle of the countryside with the modern facilities and employment potential of the town.
It was an appealing utopian vision and out of it grew two new settlements that thrive to this day: Letchworth and Welwyn.
But that was it. After Welwyn we got New Towns like Harlow, Stevenage and Milton Keynes, built along less idealistic and more pragmatic lines, instead.
Now the government is proposing to build England’s third garden city at Ebbsfleet in north Kent. As we discover in our feature starting on page 35, we’re told that Ebbsfleet could be just the first in a series of new garden cities.
If it were to happen there would be much rejoicing in the construction industry. But let’s be realistic: we were promised a new era of sustainable Eco-towns six or seven years ago and nothing has yet come of it. Why should we expect the moribund Garden City movement to suddenly spring back to life?
Ebbsfleet Garden City might yet be built. But don’t count your chickens.
Cladding & Insulation
Piling & Ground Engineering