News: Green 'eco-towns' of the future

Mon, 05 Nov 07

Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper today confirmed that an ideas competition would be run to develop and set the design standards for ten new eco-towns...

Ms Cooper wants to engage the leading creative thinkers on architecture, urban and landscape design and transport planning on proposals for the new developments of up to 20,000 homes.

The Government's adviser on architecture and urban design CABE, with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, will assist the Government in the competition and establish a judging panel to assess the entries.

The competition will focus both on the practical design ideas and the design and development process. A prize will be made available for the overall winner of the competition, as well as awards for specialist areas.

Public involvement

There will also be an opportunity for public involvement to judge eco-towns designs through a citizens' panel. At the end of the competition, the best of the ideas and lessons learned will be drawn together in an exhibition and eco-towns "compendium", which will help inform the thinking of local authorities and developers taking forward eco-town proposals.

Yvette Cooper said:” We need to deliver the best eco-towns for the sake of the planet and the next generation. However, we don't want each town to be the same, but to instead reflect the history, aspirations and character of each local area. This is why it is crucial that we involve local people and citizen juries are a great way of doing just that."

Responding to the outline for the competition, CABE, RIBA and The Prince's Foundation said: "The design of the ten eco-towns will present new challenges to local authorities, developers and designers.

Creative ideas

This international competition will ensure that the best new thinking on how to create exemplary sustainable towns will feed directly into the real projects that follow.

Together CABE, the RIBA and The Prince's Foundation have the expertise to think at all the spatial scales required to create a successful eco-town, from the scale of the settlement and its place in the landscape and transport infrastructure, to the layout of neighbourhoods and the architecture of individual houses and streets.

CABE, the RIBA and The Prince's Foundation look forward to seeing the best thinkers and designers bring their creative ideas and solutions to the challenge of creating eco-towns."

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