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New Towns - Solutions, or Soulless?

  • 03-12-2009 12:33am
    Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 11,875 Mod ✭✭✭✭JupiterKid

    I wasn't sure if this should go into here or Accom&Property but here goes...

    I was thinking about towns in general and realised that most people don't particularly like new towns. Places like Milton Keynes in England, even though well planned, orderly and laid out, are seen a soulless and devoid of character. But every town was a new town at one point or the other in history. Westport for example was only created in the late 18th century.

    Indeed, urban planners have largely moved away from the concept of new towns and instead go for expanding towns with historic cores instead. Shannon and Craigavon are Irish examples of new towns but only Shannon succeeded.

    If a new town isn't given the amenities and facilities in requires in its critical early years it can be a disaster.

    What do Boardsies think of new towns? And did anyone grow up or live in one?
    Are they a place of socially engineered shiny happy people living in harmony or a place where everyone has the "New town blues?"

    Milton Keynes - New city of 270,000 (1967 to the present)



  • It's not just new town, it's new essates that suffer from that "newness".
    Most of these places tend to attract young families, so you end up with an entire estate/ suburb with essentially the same type of people in it, i.e. young families.
    Twenty years or so later that particular estate becomes much calmer as it has "empty nesters" living in it with a small number of young families, some with parants living nearby.

    There are many 1950's estates that have a larger than average percentage of elderly inhabitants.
    I believe it takes about two generations for a "new town" to become established.

    Look at Milton Keynes, many parts of the town are now second generation and the place is becoming very settled.

    To have a population statistically similar to the national average the area needs to be established 60 years or more.

    You have to exclude "sink estates" as they could appear anywhere.