This two-day study tour provides an opportunity to understand the characteristics of Garden Villages old and new, with a view to ensuring that new Garden Villages avoid being dormitory suburbs and instead become vibrant, diverse and affordable new communities.

In January 2017 government announced support for 14 new ‘Garden Villages’ in England; new ‘stand-alone’ communities of 1,500-10,000 homes, to complement support for larger ‘Garden Towns’. As the interest in Garden Communities at all scales increases, it’s important to understand the opportunities – and challenges - of applying the principles of Garden Cities at a smaller scale.  

Like the idea of the Garden City, the garden village concept is not new. Garden villages form an important part of Britain’s urban development history, and have been used to describe a range of smaller new communities built in various forms in a period stretching from the Industrial Revolution to beyond the creation of the second and last Garden City at Welwyn in the 1920s. Many places that may be called the ‘original garden villages’ still thrive today, and provide an important source of learning for the development of new garden villages.

The original garden villages were based on a strong foundation of industry and employment, with their developers seeking to create well designed, healthy places and affordable homes.

Garden villages built today should apply the same principles, but in a 21st century context, to create vibrant, diverse and affordable communities. Without providing the right employment, community facilities and range of housing, new garden villages risk becoming dormitory commuter suburbs – the antithesis of the Garden City idea.

This two-day tour will take delegates on a journey to some of the original industrial and Garden Villages, including Bournville, Port Sunlight, New Earswick and Saltaire to understand what made these places work. The tour will also visit contemporary and award-winning smaller planned communities, at Lightmoor and Derwenthorpe to see how these lessons can be transferred to the creation of new developments today.

Hear from key players in the organisations that planned and delivered these communities; explore first-hand the approaches used in the design, layout, green infrastructure, governance, stewardship, finance, deliverytransport, energy and waste; and learn the transferable lessons for planning new Garden Villages today.  

Due to popular demand we are repeating the tour we ran in 2017, with a few tweaks and improvements. The agenda so far includes: 

Day 1: Bournville, Lightmoor and Port Sunlight

  • Explore George Cadbury’s philanthropic experiment at Bournville, which was a precursor to the Garden City movement.
  • Visit the contemporary development at Lightmoor Village, Telford, by Bournville Village Trust, where a partnership approach was central to delivery and provision has been made for the long-term stewardship of community assets.
  • Spend the evening at Port Sunlight, created by William Lever to provide his soap factory workers with decent, sanitary housing in a considered architectural and picturesque form, as part of a wider campaign for better welfare for workers. Hear how the Port Sunlight Village Trust manage community assets today. 


Day 2: Saltaire, New Earswick and Derwenthorpe

  • Following a tour of Port Sunlight visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Saltaire Village and see its gridiron plan.
  • Explore Joseph Rowntree’s new community at New Earswick, the first to be designed by Garden City pioneers Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker, and today home to some innovative low-carbon ‘lifetime homes’.
  • Hear how the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust brought forward the award winning 540 home community at Derwenthorpe, explore its ‘lifetime homes’ and learn how the Super Sustainability Centre provides energy and a community space for residents.

The tour returns to Birmingham New Street at 20.30, with an option to depart from York Train station at 18.00. 


Who is the tour for?

This study tour is aimed at councillors, policy makers, developers, housebuilders, planners, consultants, urban designers, academics, architects, landscape architects, students, community activists – and anyone else who wants to understand how to apply Garden City principles at a range of scales.

Booking your place

Ticket price includes all transportation from start-end of tour, activities, accommodation, food and soft refreshments. The tour will depart from Birmingham New Street.

Delegate prices*:

£330 for TCPA members;

£450 for non-members;

TCPA New Communities Group members - special price of £120 - Limited Offer. 

We also have a very limited number of concessionary places for students and those on limited incomes. Please contact Catriona MacRae (see below) for details. 

We are delighted to be able to offer these low ticket prices due to the support of the Lady Margaret Patterson Osborn Trust, who are supporting the tour.

If you have any queries about the Tour, please contact Catriona MacRae at:

e: [email protected] t: 0207 930 89 03 

Terms and conditions:
The TCPA reserves the right to charge in the event of cancellation, depending on the notice given: 5 working days or fewer – 100%; 6-15 working days – 50%; 16-20 working days – 25%; 21 working days or more – 10%. Substitutions can be made at any time.

*Because this package includes travel, we are required to account for this under the Tour Operators’ Margin Scheme rules for VAT purposes.  Accordingly, we do not charge you VAT for this tour. 

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

TCPA Member - Pay by Card

Decrease Increase £330.00

Non-TCPA Member - Pay by Card

Decrease Increase £450.00

TCPA New Communities Group Member - Ltd places

Decrease Increase £120.00

TCPA Member (£330- Pay by Invoice)

Decrease Increase £0.00

Non-Member (£450 - Pay by Invoice)

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NCG Member (£120 - Pay by Invoice)

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