Letchworth Garden City
Our re-imagining of Letchworth Garden City weaves together the themes of localised food production and consumption with one of everyday spatial freedom, creating a socially, ecologically sustainable new neighbourhood.
The layout is underpinned by our research into children’s natural use of external spaces in their local neighbourhood, how this supports their happiness and well-being and how in turn this benefits everyone in the community. We have created the perfect neighbourhood for all ages by providing a series of directly accessible, shared gardens, linked together and always overlooked by homes. Children will be given the everyday freedom to be outside, explore, meet friends and play.
The landscape is natural and informal, with grass mounds and trees offering quiet contemplation and places to sit and talk at times as well as places for imaginative play, tree climbing, hide and seek and games of football. Our research shows that spaces that allow flexible use and welcome all age groups tend to be well loved and well used by the community.
The community will be brought together through food. It is within these framed spaces, with their allotments and kitchen gardens, that a culture of local food activity will flourish. Children will build up knowledge and experience through observing and participating in food growing, in informal exchanges of produce and with a variety of sharing and eating experiences such as barbecues, eating al fresco and feasting with neighbours on special days.
An everyday freedom to get around will be enjoyed by all, as the neighbourhood is both walkable and safe for cycling on streets and footpaths. Cars can drive along streets at slow speeds, but parking is almost entirely restricted to the perimeter or car ports on certain unit types. The wide boulevards, served by a local bus, are free of parked cars. They provide the long vistas between the circus’ and crescents with their markets and shops. The footpaths through the shared gardens offer pleasant routes home after work and school. Approximately 1,000 car parking spaces will be provided, one per household.
The new Garden City knits together with the adjacent community who back on to the existing greenway, offering nearby residents the chance to make new friends, share in the landscape and walk or cycle to the markets and shops.
The spirit of the original Letchworth Garden City is re-imagined with social, food related spaces to be explored by children and enjoyed by the community.