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Ebenezer Howard and the Garden City pioneers have left Britain with an impressive legacy. From the world renowned Letchworth and Welwyn Garden Cities through to the countless places inspired by them, both in the UK and abroad - everything from Garden Suburbs through to the post-war New Towns programme.
Today, we still face the primary challenges confronted by Howard and his followers: meeting our housing shortage, generating jobs and creating beautiful and inclusive places. However, we have also the new challenges of globalised markets and the urgent need to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Although it is over 40 years since the last New Town was designated, the TCPA believes that new comprehensively planned sustainable communities have a powerful contribution to make to Britain's future. They deliver housing, but also create jobs. They provide the opportunity and the economies of scale to innovate and create truly high-quality places. New communities also offer a powerful prospect to put in place new governance structures that put people at the heart of developing new communities.
This report aims to bring together the pragmatic lessons of the Garden Cities and New Towns in taking forward new, large-scale communities. It seeks to examine these lessons in the context of the Government's planning reform agenda to give people greater power over the places in which they live, and in the context of the tough financial circumstances faced by both the public and private sectors.
We must find a way to move forward into a new era of building attractive, resilient and sustainable places. Where better to start this journey than to rediscoverand re-imagine the high-quality, collaborative and pioneering spirit of the Garden Cities for the 21st century; exploring further public-private partnerships and new governance structures that connect people and planning. We hope that this report, supported by Land Securities, will mark the beginning of a resurgence in one of the most successful stories in Britain's history.