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The five finalists for the prestigious Wolfson Economics prize worth £250,000 for the winner, all argue the case for creating more garden cities to help solve the Uk’s housing crisis.
Barton Willmore’s entry suggests creating four different types of garden city along with the greening of existing new towns. Up to 40 new garden cities could be built over the next 25 years each with 40 to 50 thousand new homes and creating another 40-50,000 new jobs. 35% of these new homes should be affordable housing for those on low incomes.
The entry reports that “In a March 2014 review of the Government Economist Kate Barker’s 2004 Report intoHouse Building and the Planning System, the Home Builder’s Federation concluded that 10years on, we have spectacularly undershot national housing targets by 954,000 homes, equal
to the total number of households in Latvia.”
“With the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) forecasting an
additional 5.8m new homes by 2033, the current shortfall of circa 1m homes per decade
would require somewhere between the total number of households in Denmark and
Switzerland (circa 3m homes) to catch up. And then we need to keep going.”
The entry for David Rudlin of URBED suggests the doubling of existing large towns providing an
extra 86,000 homes in each town over the next 30-35 years.
It is argued that 40 cities in England could be doubled in size in this way, such as York, Norwich, Stafford and Cheltenham. 20% of new homes would be affordable housing.
The Housing and Homelessness Charity Shelter also have an entry proposing a new garden city on
the Hoo Peninsula, Medway, Kent. Starting a settlement of 15,000 homes built over 15 years. It is also suggested that Stoke Harbour could grow into a garden city of 60,000 homes, only slightly smaller than Oxford.
Shelter proposes a new model designed to attract massive private investment into the provision of
high quality homes, jobs, services and infrastructure. A survey in the entry shows that 55% of people in Medway support a new garden city on the Hoo Peninsula compared to just 33% who oppose. Affordable housing would make up 37.5% of the new homes.
Wei Yang & Partners entry has mapped out an arc of land that they believe to be the ideal position for garden cities serving London. This area runs around London from Southampton to Felixstowe and would be the focus for finding suitable land for new developments.
Single purpose private companies, under the control of a independent national Garden City Trust, would then be established to build the cities.
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