Are new towns proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions?
I’ve always been fascinated by new towns.
New towns are about making new starts. They give us a chance to begin again, and do things better than before.
New towns are about ambition: literally, about building a better world. And they remind us that – however vivid and inspiring our dreams of perfection may be – we live in an imperfect world.
For years I’ve tried to ‘do’ something on new towns in the British Isles. Whether that’s some kind of book or maybe a blog or an article.
But I’ve always stumbled and fallen. Because it’s such a big topic – and I’m not sure you can distil it down to a few bullet points (unless you want to take the snide Crap Towns approach).
Nonetheless, I am going to try. In the next weeks I’m starting a companion blog to this one, focussed on British new towns. I’m not sure what I’m going to say – except that I will be writing from the point of view of a ‘believer’. I want to find examples of new towns that fulfilled their ambitions – however incompletely or fleetingly – and identify what we can learn from them.
Good intentions, and high ambitions, may not lead to heaven. But I hope I can show they don’t always pave the way to hell.