Another successful Letchworth Conference
Thank you to everyone who came to the Letchworth Garden City Conference last week run jointly by the New Garden City Alliance and ConnectedCities.
The mood of the day was very positively in favour of an integrated, strategic approach to transport and housing, which we hope is finally gaining traction.
We are grateful to the Letchworth Foundation team who organised the catering and venue, and David Ames who welcomed us. We want to thank all our speakers including Sir Oliver Heald, Lord Adonis, Katy Lock of TCPA, Ushma Samani from Network Rail Property and Richard Simmons from CPRE. Summaries from the research by Transport for New Housing and from the Urban Transport Group gave us context on using public transport, followed by an excellent talk from transport writer Christian Wolmar on some history of transport planning.
We would also like to thank all our sponsors: Letchworth Heritage Foundation; Peter Brett Associates (Stantec); Landscape Institute; ConnectedCities; Bright Forest; Fereday Pollard; Love Architecture; Core Connections.
Sir Oliver Heald, the MP for Letchworth welcomed the participants to the first Garden City, and set the tone for a great day of discussion, reminding us of the importance of Garden Cities in helping to solve the climate crisis whilst also providing healthy, positive communities of for our future.
Lord Adonis joined us by video and called for development to be in walking distance of rail stations and for lines cut by Dr. Beeching in the 1960s to be restored in order to reconnect towns that have been cut off. See the video here:
The very positive view from the conference was that we should move towards a more transport-oriented view of city planning.
Garden Cities will be well placed to provide attractive, achievable solutions as we begin to move toward a 2050 Net Zero target. Participants were very inspired by the speakers and the resolution of the day was to plan for the longer term, up to 50 years into the future, with flexible and resilient responses to climate change.
In the afternoon we looked at three real life examples of garden cities: Aylesbury; North Essex and Colchester; Tewkesbury and the Severn around Gloucester. Speakers offered a useful background to test the ConnectedCities approach to planning where new development is best located. Our group discussions helped test the methodology and the feedback gave those working on the three areas some new perspectives.
Finally to conclude the day the conference participants agreed to a resolution to:
- Plan for the next 50 years and share expected growth
- Respond flexibly to climate related events arising from geographical location
- Recommend ConnectedCities methodology is included in the NPPF
- Invite Garden Cities to partner with nearby cities for transport connections
- Investigate a new cities act for local authorities to use
Elizabeth Wrigley – 24 06 2019
Thanks again to our sponsors: