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Garden City Concept is a thing of the past, says Richard Rogers

Responding to a recently report realized by the UK’s, Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) on how the country should tackle housing crisis, Richard Rogers said he was shocked that the report still recommends a concept that belongs to the past.

The report, released by the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) and developer Land Securities, said the country should tackle the housing crisis by taking inspiration from Ebenezer Howard’s garden city movement in order to build high-quality, beautiful and inclusive developments.

But Rogers, whose Urban Task Force report recommended a focus on brownfield development in and around well-connected urban areas a decade ago, said the growing threat of climate change meant this approach remained the right way forward.

“I’m shocked by this,” he told BD. “The concept of an eco new town is an oxymoron…so I’m totally against this idea.”

“Garden cities were a fantastic idea 150 years ago but it’s time that the TCPA woke up to today and to today’s crisis. If Ebenezer Howard was alive today, I’m sure he wouldn’t be doing [garden cities].” Via Bdonline.

Garden City concept is ofcourse what Gaborone City is said to have been based on. The Howards concept called for a city to:

‘A new city must have many advantages: Of course it must be fortified, but within its walls, there must also be fields and meadows. And geometry is definitely the appropriate form for it’

Howard went on to build experimental cities  such as City, in Hertfordshire, UK  and other cities such Welwyn Gadern City where built but all ended up outgrowing the strict population and social principles of Ebenezer Howard garden city principle.

In Gaborone, Veronica Lesole, mayor of Gaborone, was quoted saying; “The planners didn’t do a good job,” she says. “The reason Gaborone now has no room to grow is because of that plan.”  She laments the idealism of the 1960s city planners who laid out the framework of Botswana’s capital on the problems currently facing the City.

© 2011, Boidus. All rights reserved.

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The home Walter Gropius built for his family soon after moving from to the US from Germany had a dramatic impact on American architecture. Its detailing keeps strongly to the principles of the Bauhaus, which Gropius had founded and directed in Germany, exploiting simple, well-designed but mass-produced fittings for steel wall lights, chromed banisters etc., as well as in the structure of the house (glass block walls complementing the wooden frame and New England clapboarding).

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