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Institute launched to develop understanding of great places to live

Words: Laura Edgar

Its founding partners have officially launched the International Garden Cities Institute in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

A long-term ambition of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the institute, it says, will bring together expertise to meet its aim and showcase “international garden cities as a solid model for new development, in recognition of their global influence”.

Founding partners of the International Garden Cities Institute:

Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt – president, Royal Horticultural Society, and chairman, Prince’s Council, Duchy of Cornwall

Keith Boyfield – research fellow, Centre for Policy Studies

Guy Butler – Glenbrook Property Limited

Andrew Cameron – director of Urban Design, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Peter Clegg - chief executive, Gascoyne Cecil Estates

Anthony Downs – director planning & development, Gascoyne Cecil Estates

Janet Askew – University of the West of England and president of the Royal Town Planning Institute

Jane Duncan – Jane Duncan Architects, and president of Royal Institute of British Architects from 1 September, 2015

Peter Freeman – founder, Argent

Catherine Harrington – director, National Community Land Trust Network

Kate Henderson – chief executive, Town and Country Planning Association

Gillian Hobbs – director, Building Research Establishment

Neil Jefferson – business development director, National House Building Council Federation

Dr Mervyn Miller – Independent Architect and Town Planner & Parker Scholar

Chris Pattison – director, Turnberry Planning

Trevor Saunders – Independent Planning Adviser

Kim Slowe – Zero C Holdings Limited

Kerry Thompson – executive director, Inventa Partners Limited

The institute also aims to develop a greater understanding of how to create great places to live, with the starting point for all of its work being the garden city principles and how they have been applied internationally as well as the work of Ebenezer Howard, founder of Letchworth.

Founding president Lord Salisbury, Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, said with the world urbanising at a “rapid rate”, it is important that growing towns and new settlements are developed in a way that “provides people with a rewarding and agreeable place to live and work”.

He continued: “The International Garden Cities Institute, in taking this initiative, can make an important contribution towards achieving this objective. I am honoured to be associated with it and hope that, between us all, we can establish a network dedicated to bringing these early principles up to date and into effect."

In a press release the institute said it would be supporting renewed interest in creating garden cities, from China to the UK.

The University of Hertfordshire will be the lead academic partner of the institute, while other academic partners include Sichuan University.

Images courtesy of www.letchworth.com

L-R David Ames, Anthony Downs, John Lewis,  Dr Susan Parham