… eco-towns, by the look of it. This is a good thing. Eco-towns are largely unloved, often in the middle of nowhere, and would have little impact on overall CO2 emissions.
Dermot (and Adam Marshall) have rightly criticised eco-towns for distracting from the much bigger task of greening Britain’s cities. As I’ve explored elsewhere, that’s a job which should have both a significant impact on the UK’s carbon footprint, but also much greater economic development potential.
Eco-towns have also failed dismally at being the kind of demonstration project the Government originally envisaged. There are much better examples abroad, both self-standing cities like Masdar in Abu Dhabi, and (more realistically) urban extensions like those in Vauban, Freiburg, or Hammarby Sjostan, Stockholm.
The latter also have the benefit of localist in design and delivery. In the coming months, let’s hope the Coalition can give British cities the financial flexibilities to try something similar.