UCL News


Letter: Are green neighbourhoods achievable?

7 April 2008

Professor John Adams (UCL Geography), 'The Guardian' Simon Jenkins exposes the Achilles' heel of all the proposed eco-towns: transport.

Relieving the densely packed, inner-city slums by providing houses in new settlements, with gardens, in which people would live within walking or cycling distance of jobs, shops, schools, doctors and friends was a noble vision.

All these visionaries … failed to anticipate the increase in car ownership. Since Labour came to power the country's motor vehicle population has increased by almost 8 million. …

The nation's vehicle population cannot be accommodated within a land-use pattern in which walking, cycling and buses are viable modes of transport for most of the human population. The government's eco-town aspirations will be defeated by the government's transport policies.