There once lived a girl called Namai who had an unusual dream – to become homeless. She had a polka-dot dress on a blue hanger and a polka-dot house on the 7th Sky. All people in the Sky Kingdom were living happily ever after in their smart and pretty homes levitating in tall skies. Enchanted ladders lured them up and no one ever wanted to return. But Namai was different, she knew her house’s mischievous ways. Continue reading “Homesick”
Yesterday UK’s housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell announced that £7.4 million will be invested to support the delivery of new homes and settlements including 14 ‘garden villages’ and 3 ‘garden towns’. This, of course, prompted the Garden City debate once again.
I researched this subject extensively 2 years ago when the 100-year-old idea re-surfaced due to the Wolfson Economics Prize competition. Yesterday’s news got me obsessing about Garden Cities again so I decided to outline the common misconceptions about Ebenezer Howard’s model that I observe every single time the topic re-emerges.
Ever since Ebenezer Howard first published his book ‘Tomorrow: a peaceful path to real reform’ in 1898, Garden Cities have been a highly influential but also extremely controversial concept. During the 20th century, the idea had a profound effect on urban planning not only because it was used as a framework for the building of many new settlements and suburbs, but also because it was recognised as a milestone in planning theory and inspired a number of urban design movements. Nevertheless, the Garden City also suffered heavy criticism for being a destructive, impractical and utopian planning model. Continue reading “Are Garden Cities the solution to UK’s housing crisis?”