The Future Garden City and The New Town Movement

Kevin Roddy

Garden Cities and New Towns share common roots/DNA, the former, utopian idealism looking back to a rural idyll as a reaction to industrialisation and modernity, the latter, in the aftermath of World War Two and war damaged, congested cities, looking forward to a new world, brighter future, embracing modernity, a scientific regulated approach, modernist architecture, lay-outs and building methods. Success in providing communities for 2 million people has been counterbalanced by critiques of them as ’soulless’, ‘brutalist’ and spatially disconnected. These ideas have however been rekindled in ‘Eco-Towns’ and ‘new settlements’ such as Ebbsfleet and Bicester to address housing shortages in a sustainable modern way but also a return to traditional urban forms/streets. This research aims to examine the metrics behind Garden Cities and New Towns using historic data and modern data modelling to assess if they really are the model for the sustainable occupation of the planet and urban form to create successful living organisms for the flourishment of civilisation including examination of the relationship with nature, ideas on a future cyborg society, and effects of scientific/technological advances on human thoughts/ideas and future settlement forms.

A digital resource communicating the work of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast