Thank you to all who came to the NGCA Garden Cities conference in Letchworth last week. We were not only fortunate to have avoided Storm Doris by one day but also to have got so many good people together in one place.
There was a huge amount of passion and enthusiasm and I felt that it could have easily have been a two day conference.
I am grateful to our morning speakers Richard Bacon MP and David Ames from the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.
Also to our morning workshop leaders who also said a few words : Michael Holmes, National custom and self build association, Nicole Lazarus, Bioregional Development Group, Luke Engleback, Landscape institute, Toby Lloyd, Shelter, John Devaney, British Standard Institute and Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good.
In the afternoon Lord Taylor was able to articulate what many of us were thinking about the state of the housing market and the need to have belief and courage to create great places. As he said there is a need to ‘seize the moment’.
Bastian Wahler-Zak from the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development gave an excellent German perspective. The original garden city movement was developed hand in hand with that in Germany and the new movement may well do too. Bastian I know learnt a great deal from the workshop discussions that we were having in the hall.
The afternoon workshops built on those of the morning and examined in greater detail those of sustainable build and self build, land value capture and governance.
The conclusions of the day was the agreement by a show of hands of the Garden City Declaration on agreeing an articulate of what a garden city is. (Socially, ecologically and economically sustainable).
Also it is proposed to write up the results of the workshop for a small pamphlet which I will organise. I shall be asking separately the workshop leaders to send me some photos of their notes or if they can some typed up notes.
Finally my thanks to Thomas Hoefner and Liz Wrigley of the NGCA, to Letchworth Heritage Foundation and all our sponsors.
Passed Garden City Declaration
Agreement to create pamphlet from conference – aim to publish early April
NGCA to send out a paper on formalising membership
Plans to hold a conference next year open to offers
Investigate idea of a simple garden city training course on basic principles
Twitter feed with pictures – thanks to Mingfei Ma for tweeting on the day