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Garden city concepts or just trampled turfs?

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Martin Pawley tells us that the people of Banbury are crying out for countryside development (AJ 25.5.00), provided it is at the right density.

His football pitch theory is only the latest example of his continued mis-use of statistics to justify his cause.

What it probably shows is that, faced with the inevitable, people would accept a lower density.

This would happen anywhere and it is an out of context argument that makes the Banburians his latest ally.

Even Ebenezer Howard would not necessarily have been impressed with the idea that his concept of urban lifestyle would still be appreciated enough in the twenty-first century to be copied.

It would be interesting to know if lifetime houses built to modern standards with localised facilities to reduce travel etc. would meet with his view of the future.

I think he would be horrified to know, however, that motorized transport is bringing pollution to his very front door and making towns unacceptable to live in. He would surely welcome steps to improve the environment appropriate with the times, which is what he conceived then.

The motorways and electric communications mentioned in Martin Pawley's article are merely taking the place of the stagecoach and fire beacons that existed just before Howard's day, and his vision fitted admirably with the time.

Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth

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