Garden Communities

The Garden Communities theme was established to describe the particular nature and requirements of this type of development and to explore the principles that support it. Garden communities are environments designed to promote community inclusion and walkable, sociable, vibrant neighbourhoods.

Designed for the 21st century, garden communities reflect and respond to the opportunities offered to place-making, living and working by technology and data, while addressing both climate change and climate resilience.

Garden communities are founded on eleven key principles:

  • Land value capture for the benefit of the community.
  • Strong vision, leadership and community engagement.
  • Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets.
  • Mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are genuinely affordable.
  • A wide range of local jobs in the garden city within easy commuting distance of homes.
  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities, and including opportunities to grow food.
  • Development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and which uses zero-carbon and energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience.
  • Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant, sociable neighbourhoods.
  • Integrated and accessible transport systems, with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms for local journeys.
  • Provision of comprehensive and future-proof digital connectivity delivered via fixed and /or mobile technology to support the use of smart technology.

Community is at the heart of the garden communities philosophy. The concept of community informs and underpins the ideals of a garden community – from protection of the natural environment and provision of high-quality and affordable mixed-tenure homes to the creation of integrated and accessible transport systems and the construction of flexible, multi-purpose spaces.

The design principles of garden communities place a firm focus on creating self-contained communities surrounded by green infrastructure and comprising residential, commercial and agricultural zones. Self-sustainability is put into practice through active, healthy lifestyles embodied in walking and cycling, locally grown produce and locally based employment and services.

Page updated: 29/11/2019

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