SkyscraperCity Forum banner

Bad Town Planning

22930 88
So came across Chafford Hundred for the first time in my life, a development of 5,000 new homes in 90s and 00s. Judging from the pictures this looks one of the most souless places I've ever seen - 90s planning at its worst surely:

It makes me want to cry.

Is this the best we can do? Does anyone know anything else about this location or other examples of poor modern town planning I can get upset by.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
The delights of green-field development
Well that sort of thing comes about because of outdated urban motorways... yet another example of bad planning ;)
Here's a ****-up of some sort from today's Evening Standard:
I hate commuting, I like my park, I like my countryside and I like my natural habitats

Something has to give. It is called priorities
I like my garden,
  • Like
Reactions: Robi_damian
Ummm top 5 desires from the US house market in 2013 in a country with vast expanses of potential building land that invented the never ending sprawling suburbs of detached houses with gardens

This is not popular. Not popular at all. Not even vaguely close to being anywhere near popular. In fact its unpopular.
5. Urban Homes With Amenities
Home buyers used to covet a three-quarter acre lot. Today’s buyers — both the Gen X and Gen Y generations as well as empty-nest retirees—see that same lot and think “maintenance.”

Instead, they’re opting for city living, in big cities like New York as well as smaller urban centers such as Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and San Jose. These buyers seek active lifestyles and opportunities to socialize. They want to be near transit hubs. And they’re looking for buildings with amenities.
I think you will find you have it back to front. It was the suburb that was highly experimental and heavily marketed as the future a long time ago.

A new product originally based on a mix of pseudo religious ideas of spirtual cleansing (no wonder it took off like it did in the US) during the real and the imagined horrors of industrialisation and later on in the culture of unfettered consumerism in the 1950s it became re-imagined as the upgrade path. The enabler was transport tech that in turn has found to be wanting and unsustainable. This experiment went sour mere decades after it first appeared, in the UK the backlash started with the Greenbelt movement in the 1930s. What is the magical thing that has suddenly changed since then? If the US has so much space for suburbs ask yourself why it had to invent inner city regeneration in the 1970s?

What we see today is a mere return to the values of urbanism that humans have always cherished for thousands of years, community and facility. A "back garden" is merely a technicality that has been answered a myriad ways all over the world. The courtyard, the park, the roof top, the yard, the street, the balcony, the communal garden etc. These are not futuristic fantasies.
  • Like
Reactions: Mr Bricks
This thread springs to mind

UK faces 'significant' shortage of farmland by 2030

The report warns that there may be tough choices ahead on how the UK uses land

Britain is running out of land for food and faces a potential shortfall of two million hectares by 2030 according to new research.

The report, from the University of Cambridge, says the growing population plus the use of land for energy crops are contributing to the gap.

It criticises the government's lack of a coherent vision on how to make the most of UK farm land.

The authors warn that tough choices may need to be made on future land use.

The total land area of the UK amounts to over 24 million hectares with more than 75% of that used for farming.
Sure, the point is that a garden is a commodity, there should be a value attached to it. Something that greenbelt development is notoriously poor at doing. There are a myriad of ancient and long proven ways to replicate the benefits of a dedicated private garden in different forms in tighter urbanism and good town planning surely ultimately has to prioritise resources eventually.

Anyway its not like back gardens are a dying facility in the UK not even in London they surely form the vast majority of households and I would guess a large proportion are wasted in short term rented and shared accommodation.
It would be interesting as to how individuals would prioritise their desires. Would people prefer larger internal spaces above a garden for example? Islington council did an interesting door to door survey a few years back with this sort of prioritisation of residential features that makes far more sense than a dogmatic worship of the good life (the 1970s sitcom). Back gardens are good for urban wildlife especially insects but that doesn't mean they are the only solution.
Rubbish. Town planning is based on research. Unlike your estate agent marketing slogans borrowed from daytime TV. Research is a learning process and responds to problems.

Town Planning was also liberty from the tyranny of the land owner. You and others talk of life style choices as if you are doing online shopping and expect to pick and chose from every possible configuration possible from an infinitely sized warehouse somewhere in China. Confusing consumer choice with freedom like 1950s America.

Town planning originally had to respond to the realities of industrialisation and anarchy because the macro-problems were growing exponentially. "Town planning" is now concerned with a myriad more interwoven issues such as environmental pressures eg those caused by the very suburb that you worship, responding to urban regeneration and the economic models that drive it as well as well as numerous social issues that appear to spring from how we structure and legislate the physical world (a bit more anarchy please Westminster council).

This feeling of control and dictate that some seem to be sensitive to all ultimately came about from public action not some middle aged geek overlord with a cardboard masterplan. Although Abercrombie was close (I say half jokingly, to be fair he was responding to the issues of the day with all the knowledge they had, we would all be better off if he got his idea to electrify and bury all railways coming into London to fruition, yet his road building plan was highly disruptive and ultimately led to public backlash some decades later). As ever it is the execution that sometimes falters through lack of foresight and ultimately poor understanding. Again this comes back to research.

Put up a photo of an ugly post war estate that was built after a slum clearance programme 60 years ago and so what? We have learnt the lessons and moved on. To argue otherwise is simply ignorant hysterics. You talk of enjoying living in a village near a town with all the mod cons and yet do not admit to the expense of such a set up and the hidden subsidies involved. I'm sure the ex-villagers from 100 years ago who fled the poverty there are stunned by your amazing foresight.
This discussion illustrates what is often wrong in town planning. Too many individuals with a particular vision or agenda.

What good planning provides is a mix of housing choices for every requirement. Chafford Hundreds is not to my taste, but I do know people who love living there. And given the cost they are certainly not forced to do so.

I like being in a village near a town and having a garden with patio doors open in the summer, even if there is rubbish among the child's toys. Others prefer dockside apartments with a balcony.

A massive collection of images from British urban developments of the 1960s and 1970s now provides a treasure trove for those who want to reassess a vilified era of town planning.

The concrete architecture that dominated Britain's post-war landscape has always provoked visceral emotions. The concrete monoliths that have survived popular culls still divide opinion, with some likening them to Orwellian dystopias.

They were part of a massive wave of development orchestrated by a generation of architects and planners who wanted to improve the way people lived.

JR James
JR "Jimmy" James, chief planner from 1961-1967
One of those heavily involved with this regeneration was JR "Jimmy" James - a "titan of post-war planning", as one former colleague put it. He helped launch the new towns of Newton Aycliffe and Peterlee in the late 1940s, eventually becoming chief planner at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government from 1961-1967.

When James died in 1980, he left behind a collection of nearly 4,000 slides amassed over several decades of interest in the work of planners around the UK. Many offer a glimpse into the evolution of town planning at a time when anything seemed possible.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.