On Tuesday we attended the excellent Garden Cities for Tomorrow conference organised by the Collaborative Centre for the Built Environment CCBE at The University of Northampton. Lynda Addison chaired the event which featured a diverse range of speakers focussing on Garden Cities and their role in the future.
David Lock provided a useful and insightful keynote speech looking at the history of Garden Cities and how we need to rise to the challenge of meeting the housing needs without resorting to ’edge-blobbing’ development.
David Ames, Head of Strategic Planning and Heritage, Heritage Foundation Letchworth Garden City, then provided an excellent overview of Letchworth and the way in which the City is managed and the role of residents and local interest groups. One of the most interesting points David raised was that Letchworth is very much on the front foot in terms of ensuring that the City is modern and dynamic, rather than maintaining a museum-like settlement, ensuring its long term success.
Stephen Hill, Director at C2O Futureplanners gave a superb overview on the importance of the economy in residential demand and supply and highlighted some rather shocking statistics with regards to the way in which the UK is performing relative to other countries throughout the world.
Martin Leyland, Managing Director of Barrett Strategic, gave the view of the development sector on residential development in the future. It was clear that the model previously employed by large house builders is questionable looking to the future.
The CCBE has been recently launched and ‘it brings together the University of Northampton, Moulton College and the University Centre Milton Keynes in the pursuit of a common purpose – to help produce the best new built environment professionals in Europe.’ The CCBE will be starting a new MSc in Integrated Urbanism in 2013, so watch this space.