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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Model city redirects here. For the US urban aid program of the 1960s and 1970s see Model Cities Program.
Navi Mumbai, India is the world's largest planned city.

A new town, planned community, or planned city is a city, town, or community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new towns as new towns are planned carefully.

Navi Mumbai, a planned city near the Indian city of Mumbai is the largest planned township in the world. Several of the world's capital cities are planned cities, including Washington, D.C., in the United States, Canberra in Australia, Brasília in Brazil, New Delhi in India, Abuja in Nigeria and Islamabad in Pakistan. (For others, see List of purpose-built capital cities). It was also common in the European colonization of the Americas to build according to a plan either on fresh ground or on the ruins of earlier Amerindian cities.




Côte d'Ivoire

Yamoussoukro, the transformed village of the former and first president Félix Houphouët-Boigny, is now the official capital of the country.


New Cairo is being built.


The following new cities were built:

  • Meknès - New capital of the Sultan Moulay Ismail
  • Essaouira - "Well-drawn" harbour of the sultanate.
  • Casablanca - Quasi newly built in a natural harbor around a former hamlet called Anfa
  • Agadir - After the earthquake of 1960 that destroyed the original city, Modern-day Agadir was built 2 miles north of the ruins.

More details are available in their individual entries.


The city of Abuja is a newly built inland federal capital of Nigeria. It was planned as a crossroad of the three major ethnic groups. In addition, Yenagoa is planned as a Bayelsa state capital.


In 1973, after a plebiscite, the capital of Tanzania was moved from Dar es Salaam on the coast to a more central location at Dodoma. The National Assembly moved the next year, although to this day, a good deal of government offices remain in the former capital.


Mainland China

Many ancient cities in China, especially those on the North China Plain, were carefully designed according to the fengshui theory, featuring square or rectangular city walls, rectilinear road grid, and symmetrical layout. Famous examples are: Chang'an in Tang dynasty and Beijing.

In modern China, many special economic zones are developed from the sketch, for example, Pudong, a new district or Shenzhen.

Hong Kong

The area of Hong Kong is very mountainous and many places in the New Territories have limited access to roads. Hong Kong started developing new towns in the 1950s, to accommodate booming populations. In the early days the term "satellite towns" was used. The very first new towns included Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong. Wah Fu Estate was built in a remote corner on Hong Kong Island, with similar concepts in a smaller scale.

In the late 1960s and the 1970s, another stage of new town developments was launched. Nine new towns have been developed so far. Land use is carefully planned and development provides plenty of room for public housing projects. Rail transport is usually available at a later stage. The first towns are Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O. Tuen Mun was intended to be self-reliant, but was not successful and turned into a bedroom community like the other new towns. More recent developments are Tin Shui Wai and North Lantau (Tung Chung-Tai Ho). The government also plans to build such towns in Hung Shui Kiu and North Ku Tung. At present, there are a total of nine new towns.


Medieval India

A number of medieval Indian cities were planned including:

Republic of India

The period following independence saw India being defined into smaller geographical regions. New states such as Gujarat were formed with planned capital cities. The major planned cities of India include:


In the period of the Persian Safavid Empire, Isfahan, the Persian capital, was built according to a planned scheme, consisting of a long boulevard and planned housing and green areas around it.

In modern day Iran more than 20 planned cities have been developed or are under construction, mostly around Iran's main metropolitan areas such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz. Some of these new cities are built for special purposes such as:

  • Pardis, which is built as a scientific city.
  • Poulad-Shahr, which is an industrial city built for the housing of Isfahan's steel industry workers.
  • Shirin Shahr which is to provide housing for the sugar industry personnel.
  • Tehranpars which was built to house Tehran's additional population.
  • Shahrak-e Gharb, built as a massive project of modern apartment buildings.
  • Parand which is intended to provide residences for the staff of Imam Khomeini International Airport.
  • Shushtar New Town which was built to provide housing for the employees of a sugar cane processing plant.

576,000 people were been planned to be settled in Iran's new towns by the year 2005.

For a list of Iran's modern planned cities see: List of Iran's planned cities.


According to politics of country settlement a number of planned cities were created in peripheral regions. Those cities also known as Development Towns. The most successful is Ashdod with more than 200,000 inhabitants, a port and developed infrastracture. Other cities that were developed following lineation plan are Karmiel and Arad. Modi'in has been another of the country's most successful planned cities, construction began in 1994, it now has a population of over 67,000. Modi'in also rates higher in terms of average salary and graduation rates than the national average, Israeli achitect Moshe Safdie designed and planned the city. Many Israeli settlements characteristically follow this model, including towns like Modi'in Illit and Betar Illit.


Borrowing from the New Town movement in the UK, some 30 new towns have been built in Japan all over the country. Most of these constructions were initiated during the period of rapid economic growth in the 1960s, but construction continued into the 1980s. Most of them are located near Tokyo and the Kansai region. Some towns, (Senri New Town, Tama New Town) do not provide much employment, and many of the residents commute to the nearby city. These towns fostered the infamous congestion of commuter trains (although as the metropolitan areas have grown, this commute has become relatively short in comparison to commutes from the new urban fringe).

Other New Towns act as industrial/academic agglomerations (sangyo-shuseki) (Tsukuba Science City, Kashima Port Town). These areas attempt to create an all-inclusive environment for daily living, in accordance with Uzō Nishiyama's "life-spheres" principle.

Japan has also developed the concept of new towns to what Manuel Castells and Sir Peter Hall call technopolis. The technopolis program of the 1980s has precedents in the New Industrial Cities Act of the 60s. These cities are largely modeled after Tsukuba Academic New Town in that they attempt to agglomerate high-tech resources together in a campus-like environment.

In the past, the Japanese government had proposed relocating the capital to a planned city, but this plan was cancelled.

Overall, the Japan's New Town program consists of a many diverse projects, most of which focus on a primary function, but also aspire to create an all-inclusive urban environment. Japan's New Town program is heavily informed by the Anglo-American Garden City tradition, American neighborhood design, as well as Soviet strategies of industrial development.

In 2002 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced the end of new town construction, although the new towns continue to receive government funding and redevelopment.


  • Ministry of Construction, Japan International Cooperation Agency, City Bureau. 1975? City Planning in Japan.
  • Hein, Carola. 2003. “Visionary Plans and Planners: Japanese Traditions and Western Influences” in Japanese Capitals in Historical
  • Perspective, Nicholas Fiévé and Paul Waley, eds. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 309-43.

Scott, W. Stephen. 2006. Just Housing? Evidence of Garden City Principles in a Postwar Japanese New Town. Undergraduate diss. New College of Florida.



A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley civilization of ancient Pakistan from around 2600 BC. The quality of municipal city planning suggests knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene. The streets of major cities in present day Pakistan such as Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, the world's earliest planned cities, were laid out in a perfect grid pattern comparable to that of present day New York City. The houses were protected from noise, odors, and thieves.

As seen in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, this urban plan included the world's first urban sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes.

The ancient Indus systems of sewage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the Indus Empire were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in some areas of modern Republic of India today. The advanced architecture of the Harappans is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms, and protective walls.

Today the federal capital, Islamabad, is a planned city. The city of Rabwah in Punjab is also a planned city, it is the centre of Ahmadiyya Community.


Quezon City was the planned city of President Manuel L. Quezon. He proposed a new city to be built northeast of Manila. Carefully planned districts include the Santa Mesa Heights (part of the original Burnham plan), Diliman Estate (includes the University of the Philippines), New Manila, Cubao Commercial District, South Triangle, Housing Projects 1 (Roxas district), 2 & 3 (Quirino District), 4, 5 (Kamias-Kamuning District), 6, 7, and 8. President Elpidio Quirino proclaimed Quezon City as capital of the Philippines on July 17, 1948. President Ferdinand Marcos restored Manila as capital on June 24, 1976. He then created a metropolitan area called Metro Manila. Due to failed urban planning, Metro Manila remains congested and one of the most populated areas in the world.

Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah Economic City, a future planned city along the Red Sea located in Saudi Arabia.

In 1975, Jubail Industrial City, also known as Jubail, was designated as a new industrial city by the Saudi government. It provides 50% of the country's drinking water through desalination of the water from the Persian Gulf.


The new town planning concept was introduced into Singapore with the building of the first New Town, Queenstown, from July 1952 to 1973 by the country's public housing authority, the Housing and Development Board. Today, the vast majority of the approximately 11,000 public housing buildings are organised into 22 new towns across the country.

Each new town is designed to be completely self-sustainable. Helmed by a hierarchy of commercial developments, ranging from a town centre to precinct-level outlets, there is no need to venture out of town to meet the most common needs of residences. Employment can be found in industrial estates located within several towns. Educational, health care, and recreational needs are also taken care of with the provision of schools, hospitals, parks, sports complexes, and so on.

Singapore's expertise in successful new town design was internationally recognised when the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) of the United Nations awarded the World Habitat Award to Tampines New Town, which was selected as a representative of Singapore's new towns, on 5 October 1992.[2]

South Korea

New Songdo City is a planned international business centre to be developed on 6 square kilometres of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront, 65 kilometres west of Seoul and connected to Incheon International Airport by a 10 kilometre highway bridge. This 10-year development project is estimated to cost in excess of $40 billion, making it the largest private development project ever undertaken anywhere in the world. Also in Hwaseong, there are Bongdam, Dongtan, and Hyangnam




Louvain-la-Neuve, built for the Université Catholique de Louvain.


Slobomir is a new town in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its name means: "the city of freedom and peace". It is located on the Drina river near Bijeljina. It was founded by Slobodan Pavlović, a Bosnian philanthropist. It aims to be one of the major cities of post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. In fact, the city will be located in two countries, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, although majority of it will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is named after its founder, Slobodan Pavlović, and his wife, Mira.


The cities of Stara Zagora and Kazanlak, in central Bulgaria, were rebuilt as planned cities after they were burnt to the ground in the 1877-1878 Russia-Turkey War. Also the city of Dimitrovgrad in south Bulgaria, that was planned as a key industrial and infrastructure center.


Fredericia was designed as a combination of town and military fortress following the devastation caused by the Thirty Years' War. A more recently example is Ørestaden planed and built to strengthen development in the Copenhagen/Malmö region.


The city of Helsinki, previously just a small village, was rebuilt on a rocky peninsula near the sea in 1812 by decree of Alexander I, Grand-duke of Finland. The new town was to become the capital for the new Grand Duchy of Finland. The planner of the new town was Carl Ludvig Engel.

However, the last city in Finland that was ordered to be built on a previously completely uninhabited land was Raahe, founded by governor general Per Brahe the Younger in 1649.

Finland also has various "ekokyläs" or "ecological villages". For example, Tapiola is a post-war garden city on the edge of Espoo.


Many new cities, called bastides, were founded from the 12th to 14th centuries in southeastern France, where the Hundred Years War took place, in order to replace destroyed cities and organize defence and growth. Among those, Monpazier, Beaumont, Villeréal are good examples.

Cardinal Richelieu founded the small Baroque town of Richelieu, which remains largely unchanged.

A program of new towns (French ville nouvelle) was developed in the mid-1960s to try to control the expansion of cities. Nine villes nouvelles were created.


Planned cities in Germany are:


All Hungarian planned cities were built in the second half of the 20th century when a program of rapid industrialization was implemented by the communist government.

  • Dunaújváros, built next to the existing village Dunapentele to provide housing for workers of a large steel factory complex. Once named after Stalin, the city maintains its importance in heavy industry even after the recession following the end of Communist era.
  • Tiszaújváros, built next to the existing village Tiszaszederkény and was named after Lenin for decades. A significant chemical factory was built simultaneously.
  • Kazincbarcika, created from the villages Sajókazinc, Barcika and Berente (the latter has become independent since then) in a mining area. The city and its population grew fast after the founding of a factory.
  • Tatabánya, created from four already existing villages was developed into a mining town and industrial centre and shortly after its elevation to town status became the county seat of its county, a status it still maintains despite the presence of historically more significant towns in the area.
  • Beloiannisz (although not a town, only a village) was planned and built in the 1950s to provide home for Greek refugees of the Civil War.


In the Republic of Ireland, as in the United Kingdom, the term "new town" is often used to refer to planned towns built after World War II which were discussed as early as 1941. The term "new town" in Ireland was also used for some earlier developments, notably during the Georgian era. Part of Limerick city was built in a planned fashion as "Newtown Pery".

In 1961 the first new town of Shannon was commenced and a target of 6,000 inhabitants was set. This has since been exceeded. Shannon is of some regional importance today as an economic centre (with the Shannon Free Zone and Shannon International Airport), but until recently failed to expand in population as anticipated. Since the late 1990s, and particularly in the early 2000s, the population has been expanding at a much faster rate, with town rejuvenation, new retail and entertainment facilities and many new housing developments.

It was not until 1967 that the Wright Report planned four towns in County Dublin. These were Blanchardstown, Clondalkin, Lucan and Tallaght but in actuality this was reduced to Blanchardstown, Lucan-Clondalkin and Tallaght. Each of these towns has approximately 50,000 inhabitants today.

The most recent new town in Ireland is Adamstown in County Dublin. Building commenced in 2005 and it is anticipated that occupation will commence late in 2006 with the main development of 10,500 units being completed within a ten year timescale.


In the past centuries several new towns have been planned in Italy. One of the most famous is Pienza, close to Siena, a Renaissance city, also called The Ideal Town or Utopia Town. Between 1459 and 1462 the most famous architects of Italy worked there for the Pope Pius II and built the city centre of the small town.

Another example of renaissance planned cities is the walled star city of Palmanova. It is a derivative of ideal circular cities, notable Filarete's imaginary Sforzinda.

In early 20th century, during the fascist government of Benito Mussolini, many new cities were founded, the most prominent being Littoria (renamed Latina after the fall of the Fascism). The city was inaugurated on December 18, 1932. Littoria was populated with immigrants coming from Northern Italy, mainly from Friuli and Veneto

The great Sicilian earthquake of 1693 forced the complete rebuilding on new plans of many towns.

Other well known new cities are located close to Milan in the metropolitan area. Crespi d'Adda, a few kilometres east of Milan along the Adda River, was settled by the Crespi family. It was the first Ideal Worker's City in Italy, built close to the cotton factory. Today Crespi d'Adda is part of the Unesco World Heritage List. Cusano Milanino was settled in the first years of the 20th century in the formerly small town of Cusano. It was built as a new green city, rich in parks, villas, large boulevards and called Milanino (Little Milan). In the 1970s in the eastern metropolitan area of Milan a new city was built by Silvio Berlusconi. It is called Milano Due. It is a garden city designed for families of the upper middle class, with peculiarity of having pedestrian paths completely free of traffic. In the 1980s another two similar cities were built by Berlusconi, Milano 3 and Milano Visconti. Each of them has around 12,000 inhabitants.


The fortified cities of Senglea and Valletta were both built on a grid plan by the Knights of Malta in the 16th century.


One province of the Netherlands, Flevoland (pop. 370,000 (2006)), was reclaimed from IJsselmeer.

After a flood in 1916, it was decided that the Zuiderzee, an inland sea within the Netherlands, would be closed and reclaimed. In 1932, a causeway (the Afsluitdijk) was completed, which closed off the sea completely. The Zuiderzee was subsequently called IJsselmeer and its previously salty water became fresh.

The first part of the new lake that was reclaimed was the Noordoostpolder (Northeast polder). This new land included, among others, the former island of Urk and it was included with the province of Overijssel. After this, other parts were also reclaimed: the eastern part in 1957 (Oost-Flevoland) and the southern part (Zuid-Flevoland) in 1968. The municipalities on the three parts voted to become a separate province, which happened in 1986. The capital of Flevoland is Lelystad, but the biggest city is Almere (pop. 183,500 in February 2008). Apart from these two larger cities, several 'New Villages' were built. In the Noordoostpolder the central town of Emmeloord is surrounded by ten villages, all on cycling distance from Emmeloord since that was the most popular way of transport in the 1940s (and it's still very popular). Most noteworthy of these villages is Nagele which was designed by famous modern architects of the time, Gerrit Rietveld, Aldo van Eyck and Jaap Bakema among them. The other villages were built in a more traditional/vernacular style. In the more recent Flevolandpolders four more 'New Villages' were built. Initially more villages were planned, but the introduction of cars made fewer but larger villages possible.

New towns outside Flevoland are Hoofddorp and IJmuiden near Amsterdam, Hellevoetsluis and Spijkenisse near Rotterdam and the navy port Den Helder.

The cities of Almere, Capelle aan den IJssel, Haarlemmermeer (also a reclaimed polder, 19th century), Nieuwegein, Purmerend and Zoetermeer are members of the European New Town Platform.


Oslo: After a great fire in 1624, it was decided by the then King Christian IV that the city would be moved behind the Akershus fortress. The new town, named Christiania, was laid out in a grid and is now the downtown area known as "Kvadraturen". The original town of Oslo was later incorporated into Christiania, and is now a neighborhood in eastern Oslo; Gamlebyen or "The Old City".

The city of Kristiansand was formally founded in 1641 by King Christian IV. The city was granted all trade privileges on the southern coast of Norway, denying all other towns to trade with foreign states. As Oslo/Christiania before it, the city was behind a fortress, with a grid system allowing cannons to fire towards the two ports of the city and the river on the eastern end.


The very diverse layouts in Poland's planned cities is the result of the different aesthetics that were held as ideal during the development of these planned communities. Planned cities in Poland have a long history and fall primarily into three time periods during which planned towns developed in Poland. These are the Nobleman's Republic (16th-18th c.), the interwar period (1918–1939) and Socialist Realism (1944–1956).

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

The extreme opulence that Poland's nobility enjoyed during the Renaissance left Poland's elites with not only obscene amounts of money to spend, but also motivated them to find new ways to invest their hefty fortunes out the grasp of the Royal Treasury. Jan Zamoyski founded the city of Zamość in order to circumvent royal tariffs and duties while also serving as the capital for his mini-state. Zamość was planned by the renowned Paduan architect Bernardo Morando and modelled on Renaissance theories of the 'ideal city'. Realizing the importance of trade, Zamoyski issued special location charters for representatives of peoples traditionally engaged in trade, i.e. to Greeks, Armenians and Sephardic Jews and secured exemptions on taxes, customs duties and tolls, which contributed to its fast development. Zamoyski's success with Zamość spawned numerous other Polish nobles to found their own "private" cities such as Białystok and many of these towns survive today, while Zamość was added to the UN World Heritage list in 1992 and is today considered one of the most precious urban complexes in Europe and in the world[citation needed].

Interwar period

The preeminent example of a planned community in interwar Poland is Gdynia. After World War I when Poland regained its independence it lacked a commercial seaport (De iure Poles could use Gdańsk, which was the main port of the country before the War and is again today, but de facto the Germans residing in the city made it almost impossible for them), making it necessary to build one from scratch. The extensive and modern seaport facilities in Gdynia, the most modern and extensive port facilities in Europe at the time, became Poland's central port on the Baltic Sea. In the shadow of the port, the city took shape mirroring in its scope the rapid development of 19th century Chicago, growing from a small fishing village of 1,300 in 1921 into a full blown city with a population over 126,000 less than 20 years later. The Central Business District that developed in Gdynia is a showcase of Art Deco and Modernist architectural styles and predominate much of the cityscape. There are also villas, particularly in the city's villa districts such as Kamienna Góra where Historicism inspired Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque architecture.

Socialist realism

After the destruction of most Polish cities in World War II, the Communist regime that took power in Poland sought to bring about architecture that was in line with its vision of society. Thus urban complexes arose that reflected the ideals of socialist realism. This can be seen in districts of Polish cities such as Warsaw's MDM. The City of Nowa Huta (now a district of Kraków) and Tychy were built as the epitome of the proletarian future of Poland.


Vila Real de Santo António was built after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, on the model which served to rebuilt the capital city of Portugal and on a similar orthogonal plan.


The city of Victoria, located in the Braşov County, was built by the communist government in the beginning of the second half of the 20th century.

Roman Empire

Although Rome itself is not a planned settlement, the Romans built a large number of towns throughout their empire, often as colonies for the settlement of citizens or veterans. These were generally characterised by a grid of streets and a planned water-supply; and many modern European towns of originally Roman foundation still retain part of the original street-grid. The most impressive Roman planned town was the city of Constantinople from around the 4th century. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great chose the site for the new metropolis and began construction. His plans quickly fell into place. The modern city (now known as Istanbul) has changed much since then, but it must be remembered that the city did not develop due to simple human migrational patterns nor pure military advantage. Constantine wanted a city to mark his magnificence and Constantinople fulfilled the desire.


Saint Petersburg was built by Peter the Great as a planned capital city starting in 1703.

Magnitogorsk is an example of a planned industrial city based on Stalin's 1930s five-year plans.

The Avtozavodsky district of Tolyatti is a planned industrial city of Soviet post-war modernism.


Nova Gorica, built after 1947 immediately to the East of the new border with Italy, in which the town of Gorizia remained.


During the 16th and 17th centuries the population of Spain declined due to emigration to the Americas and later kings and governments made efforts to repopulate the country. In the second half of the 18th century, king Charles III implemented the so-called New Settlements (Nuevas Poblaciones) plan which would bring 10,000 immigrants from central Europe to the region of Sierra Morena. Pablo de Olavide was appointed superintendent and about forty new settlements were established of which the most notable was La Carolina, which has a perfectly rectangular grid design. [1]

Later kings and repopulation efforts led to the creation of more settlements, also with rectangular grid plans. One of them was the town of La Isabela (40.4295 N, 2.6876 W) which disappeared in the 1950s submerged under the waters of the newly created artificial lake of Buendía but is still visible just under the water in satellite imagery. PDF

Tres Cantos, near Madrid, is a good example of a successful new town design in Spain.

Newer additional sections of large cities are often newly planned as is the case of the Salamanca district or Ciudad Lineal in Madrid or the Eixample in Barcelona.


Göteborg was planned and built as a major fortified city from nothing in the 17th century.

Karlskrona was also planned and built as a major city and naval base from nothing in the 17th century.

Vällingby, a suburb, is an example of a new town in Sweden from after 1950.

Kiruna was built because of the large mine.

United Kingdom


The Romans planned many towns in Britain, but the settlements were changed out of all recognition in subsequent centuries. The town of Winchelsea is said to be the first post-Roman new town in Britain, constructed to a grid system under the instructions of King Edward I in 1280, and largely completed by 1292. Another claimant to the title is Salisbury, established in the early 13th Century by the then Bishop of Sarum. The best known pre-20th century new town in the UK was undoubtedly the Edinburgh New Town, built in accordance with a 1766 master plan by James Craig, and (along with Bath and Dublin) the archetype of the elegant Georgian style of British architecture.

However, the term "new town" is now used in the UK, in the main, to refer to the towns developed after World War II under the New Towns Act 1946. These grew out of the garden city movement, launched around 1900 by Ebenezer Howard and Sir Patrick Geddes and the work of Raymond Unwin, and manifested at Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.

Following World War II, several towns (eventually numbering 28) were designated under the 1946 Act as New Towns, and were developed partly to house the large numbers of people who had lost homes during the War. New Towns policy was also informed by a series of wartime commissions, including:

  • the Barlow Commission (1940) into the distribution of industrial population,
  • the Scott Committee into rural land use (1941)
  • the Uthwatt Committee into compensation and betterment (1942)
  • (later) the Reith Report into New Towns (1947).

Also crucial to thinking was the Abercrombie Plan for London (1944), which envisaged moving a million and a half people from London to new and expanded towns. A similar plan was developed for the Clyde Valley in 1946 to combat similar problems faced in Glasgow. Together these committees reflected a strong consensus to halt the uncontrolled sprawl of London and other large cities, under the axiom if we can build better, we can live better. This consensus should probably be viewed in conjunction with emerging concern for social welfare reform (typified by the Beveridge Report).

The first of a ring of such "first generation" New Towns around London (1946) was Stevenage, Hertfordshire and Basildon, Essex along the Thames being the nearest to East London, both after Borehamwood, Middlesex. Hertfordshire actually counts four of eight London new towns where three of these four form a group. The group consists of Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City (in corporation with adjacent Hatfield) and Letchworth, though standing apart, is an active part of the group. (Hall 1996: 133) New Towns in the North East were also planned such as Newton Aycliffe (which Beveridge wanted to be the "ideal town to live in") and Peterlee. Two new towns were also planned in Scotland at East Kilbride (1947), and Glenrothes (1948). Bracknell in Berkshire, was designated a new town in 1949 and is still expanding. Later a scatter of "second-generation" towns were built to meet specific problems, such as the development of the Corby steelworks. Finally, five "third-generation" towns were launched in the late 1960s: these were larger, some of them based on substantial existing settlements such as Peterborough, and the most famous was probably Milton Keynes, midway between London and Birmingham, known for its huge central park and shopping centre, designed from the outset as a new city – though in law it is a 'New Town'. Other towns, such as Ashford, Kent, Basingstoke and Swindon, were designated "Expanded Towns" and share many characteristics with the new towns. Scotland also gained three more new towns, Cumbernauld in 1956, famous for its enclosed 'town centre', Livingston (1962) and Irvine (1966) (see Film- New Towns in Scotland).

After a partial success within the London Metropolitan green belt New Towns Basildon and Borehamwood and expansion of these areas combined with still chronic housing shortages in soth-east London anouther small New Town Thamesmead was developed adjacent to the Thames in the early 1960s but suffered from poor transport links that a few small adhoc developments today suffer from ,though transport links have improved due to inward investment.

All the new towns featured a car-oriented layout with many roundabouts and a grid-based road system unusual in the old world. The earlier new towns, where construction was often rushed and whose inhabitants were generally plucked out of their established communities with little ceremony, rapidly got a poor press reputation as the home of "new town blues". These issues were systematically addressed in the later towns, with the third generation towns in particular devoting substantial resources to cycle routes, public transport and community facilities, as well as employing teams of officers for social development work.

The financing of the UK new towns was creative. Land within the designated area was acquired at agricultural use value by the development corporation for each town, and infrastructure and building funds borrowed on 60-year terms from the UK Treasury. Interest on these loans was rolled up, in the expectation that the growth in land values caused by the development of the town would eventually allow the loans to be repaid in full. However, the high levels of retail price inflation experienced in the developed world in the 1970s and 1980s fed through into interest rates and frustrated this expectation, so that substantial parts of the loans had ultimately to be written off.

From the 1970s the first generation towns began to reach their initial growth targets. As they did so, their development corporations were wound up and the assets disposed of: rented housing to the local authority, and other assets to the Commission for the New Towns (in England; but alternative arrangements were made in Scotland and Wales). The Thatcher Government, from 1979, saw the new towns as a socialist experiment to be discontinued, and all the development corporations were dissolved by 1990, even for the third generation towns whose growth targets were still far from being achieved. Ultimately the Commission for the New Towns was also dissolved and its assets - still including a lot of undeveloped land - passed to the English Industrial Estates Corporation (later known as English Partnerships).

Many of the New Towns attempted to incorporate public art and cultural programmes but with mixed methods and results. In Harlow the architect in charge of the design of the new town, Frederick Gibberd, founded the Harlow Art Trust [2] and used it to purchase works by leading sculptors, including Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth . In Peterlee the abstract artist Victor Pasmore was appointed part of the design team resulting in the Apollo Pavilion. Washington New Town was provided with a community theatre and art gallery. The concrete cows in Milton Keynes resulted from another 'town artist' commission and have gone on to become a recognised landmark. Glenrothes led the way in Scotland being the first new town to appoint a town artist in 1968. A massive range of artworks (around 132 in total) ranging from concrete hippos to bronze statues, dancing children, giant flowers, a dinosaur, a horse and chariot and crocodiles, to name but a few, were created. Town artists appointed in Glenrothes include David Harding and Malcolm Roberston.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, building of Craigavon in County Armagh commenced in 1966 between Lurgan and Portadown, although entire blocks of flats and shops laid empty, and later derelict, before eventually being bulldozed. The area, which now has a population exceeding 80,000 is mostly a dormitory town for Belfast.

Derry was the first ever planned city in Ireland. Work began on building the new city across the River Foyle from the ancient town of Derry (Doire Cholm Chille or Doire) in 1613. The walls were actually completed five years later in 1618. The central diamond within a walled city with four gates was thought to be a good design for defence.[3] In 1963 under the Matthew Plan the new city of Craigavon was founded out of the original towns of Portadown and Lurgan. This town today lies mostly incomplete as the troubles halted construction. The plan initially was to construct a relief settlement to take people out of the crowded city of Belfast.


In the late 1950s and early 1960s Scotland saw a creation of several "post-war new towns". These were; Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Irvine and Livingston. Each of these towns are in Scotland's list of 20 most populated towns and cities. East Kilbride is the second largest town in Scotland, or the 6th largest settlement with a population of over 73,000 and Livingston with a population of 76,000. The other three towns are not as big with populations between 30,000 and 50,000. Livingston is seen by some as "Scotland's town of the future". This is due to its large, increasing population and its healthy economic status.


The only new towns in Wales have been Newtown and Cwmbran. Cwmbran was established to provide new employment in the south eastern portion of the South Wales Coalfield. The town is perhaps most widely known now for its international sports stadium and shopping centre.

In the 1990s an experimental "new town" developed by The Prince of Wales to use very traditional or vernacular architectural styles was started at Poundbury in Dorset.

North America


When Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald began to settle the West in Canada, he put the project under the command of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). The CPR exercised complete control over the development of land under its ownership. The federal government granted every second square mile section (totalling 101,000 km²) along the proposed railway line route to the CPR. The CPR decided where to place railway stations, and thus would decide where the dominant town of the area would be. In most instances the CPR would build a station on an empty section of land to make the largest profit from land sales — meaning that the CPR founded many of the Canadian West's towns, such as Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw, from scratch. If an existing town was close to the newly constructed station but on land not owned by the CPR, the town was forced to move itself to the new site and reconstruct itself, essentially building a new town. Calgary and Yorkton, Saskatchewan, were among the towns that had to move themselves.[citation needed]

After the CPR established a station at a particular site, it would plan how the town would be constructed. The side of the tracks with the station would go to business, while the other side would go to warehouses. Furthermore, the CPR controlled where major buildings went (by giving the town free land to build it where the CPR wanted it to go), the construction of roads and the placement and organization of class-structured residential areas.

The CPR's influence over the development of the Canadian west's communities was one of the earliest examples of new town construction in the modern world. Later influences on planned community development in Canada were the exploitation of her mineral and forest wealth, usually in remote locations of the vast country. Among numerous company towns planned and built for these purposes were Corner Brook and Grand Falls in Newfoundland, Témiscaming and Fermont in Quebec.

In the modern suburban context, Erin Mills, located in the city of Mississauga, Ontario, is likely the largest planned suburban development or new town in Canada. Phased development began in the early 1970s and continues to this day. More recently, the Cornell development in Markham, Ontario, was built as a new town, using the concepts of New Urbanism.


Tenochtitlan (Nahuatl pronunciation: [tenotʃˈtitɬaːn]) was the capital of the Aztec empire, which was built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now the Federal District in central Mexico. The city was largely destroyed in the 1520s by Spanish conquistadores. Mexico City was erected on top of the ruins and, over the ensuing centuries, most of Lake Texcoco has gradually been drained.

Puebla was built because of the need of a Spanish settlement in the route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz


Although Panama City itself is not planned, certain areas are such as Costa del Este, an exclusive high density residential and business area, very close to downtown Panama City. The project combines many skyscrapers with beautiful green areas, and it is close to a highway that connects it to the city center. Other planned areas, but in a lesser degree, are Punta Pacifica and the former Canal Zone.

United States

The original plan for Memphis, Tennessee, as surveyed in 1819

In the early history of the USA, planned communities were quite common: St. Augustine, planned in 1565, Jamestown, New Haven, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Annapolis, and Savannah are examples of this trend. Washington, D.C.; Jackson, Mississippi; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; Salt Lake City, Utah; Tallahassee, Florida; and Austin, Texas are unusual, having been carved out of the wilderness to serve as capital cities.

Pullman, now incorporated into Chicago's South side, was a world-renowned company town founded by the industrialist George M. Pullman in the 1880s. In Beaver County, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, American Bridge Company founded Ambridge, Pennsylvania in 1905 as a company town for American Bridge; American Bridge is still based near Ambridge today in nearby Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Riverside, Illinois, Radburn, New Jersey, and Kansas City, Missouri's Country Club District are other early examples of planned communities. Kohler Company created a planned village of the same name west of the company's former headquarters city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, which incorporated in 1912. In 1918, the Aluminum Company of America built the town of Alcoa, Tennessee for the employees of the nearby aluminum processing plant. Arthurdale, West Virginia, a federally funded New Deal community, was Eleanor Roosevelt's project to ease the burden of the Great Depression on coal miners. The Tennessee Valley Authority created several towns of its own to accommodate workers constructing their new dams; the most prominent being Norris, Tennessee. Other towns were planned by the Federal government during the depression as well, such as Greenbelt, Maryland, Greenhills, Ohio, and Greendale, Wisconsin.

During World War II, the Manhattan Project built several planned communities to provide accommodations for scientists, engineers, industrial workers and their families. These communities, including Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Richland, Washington and Los Alamos, New Mexico were necessary because the laboratories and industrial plants of the Manhattan Project were built in isolated locations to ensure secrecy. Even the existence of these towns was a military secret, and the towns themselves were closed to the public until after the war.

Aerial view of Levittown, Pennsylvania circa 1959

The Levittowns -- in Long Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey (now known as Willingboro, NJ) -- typified the planned suburban communities of the 1950s and early 1960s. California's Rohnert Park is another example of a planned city (built at the same time as Levittown) that was marketed to attract middle-class people into an area only populated with farmers with the phrase, "A Country Club for the middle class."

Many other places, such as Orange County, California, the Conejo Valley in Ventura County, Valencia in Los Angeles County, as well as Phoenix, Arizona and Northern Arizona also have many master planned communities following the housing boom in the 1960s, which is when the fathers of Scottsdale, Arizona foresaw a huge amount of growth in Arizona. Some of those communities include Anaheim Hills, Rossmoor, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, and Talega, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park, Valencia in California, and Marley Park, Talking Rock Ranch, McCormick Ranch, Rio Verde, Tartesso and Verrado in Arizona. The neighbourhood of Warren in the city of Bisbee has the distinction of being Arizona's first planned community. In the Conejo Valley, which is the in East County Area of Ventura County, all cities were master planned. Most notably, the Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, and Westlake Village area was master planned by the Janss Investment Company, which was also responsible for the development of Westwood Village, part of the Westside in Los Angeles. Valencia is an area that is a master planned community that incorporated into the City of Santa Clarita, developed and planned by the Newhall Land and Farming Company. About 25% of Orange County is composed of various master planned communities, much of which was done by the Irvine Company, and since 1990, 85% of all developments in Orange County and a slightly smaller amount of communities in Arizona were part of a master planned community. 75% of all resales today in the Phoenix area are homes in master planned communities, and 80% of all new home construction permits issued by Arizona building departments are master planned communities. These communities provide functionality to the precious land left in the area, as well as the ability to create a housing-business-transportation-open space balance.

During the Florida land boom of the 1920s in Southern Florida, the communities of Coral Gables, Opa-Locka, and Miami Springs, now suburbs of Miami, Florida, were incorporated as fully planned "themed" communities which were to reflect the architecture and look of Spain, Arabia, and Mexico respectively, and are now considered some of the first modern planned communities in the United States.

In the United States, suburban growth in the Sunbelt states has also coincided with the growth of such Master Planned Communities within already established suburban cities. Texas was very much at the forefront of this trend, where master-planned communities gained much popularity. Dallas-area community Las Colinas, in the city of Irving, was one of the first such examples of a master-planned community "city-within-a-city." First developed in 1973, Las Colinas is a 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) master planned community located within the city of Irving, and it is still growing. In 2006, residents approved changes to various deed restrictions to allow even more dense, urban mixed-use and residential construction. Peachtree City, Georgia is another example.

The era of the modern planned city began in 1963 with the creation of Reston in western Fairfax County, Virginia, which was begun just a year before Columbia in Howard County, Maryland. In more recent years, New Urbanism has set the stage for new cities, with places like the idyllic Seaside, Florida, and Disney's new town of Celebration, Florida. In recent years, new towns such as Mountain House, California, have added a new wrinkle to the movement: to prevent conurbation with nearby cities, they have imposed strict growth boundaries, as well as automatic "circuit breakers" that place moratoriums on residential development if the number of jobs per resident in the town falls below a certain value. Centennial new town part in Tejon Ranch halfway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, will incorporate such restrictions in order to minimize the commuter load on severely congested I-5). With energy prices steadily increasing and anti-sprawl sentiments gaining currency, it is likely that most future new towns will be along smart growth and New Urbanist lines. Coyote Springs and Destiny are largest 21st Century new cities being planned in Unitied States, both would be bring in 250,000 residents at build out.[citation needed]



Australia has three major planned cities - Adelaide, Melbourne and the capital, Canberra designed by Walter Burley Griffin. Burley Griffin was Australia's most notable city planner having also designed smaller cities and towns including Leeton and Griffith in New South Wales.


Adelaide's planned town grids were surrounded by parkland and intersected by the River Torrens


A reconstruction of Robert Hoddle's original plans for Melbourne's central grid which defined the early township and today's city centre

Melbourne was planned as a free settlement in 1837 through the Hoddle Grid, drawn up by Robert Hoddle under instructions from George Gipps, the original plan for Melbourne as part of the first land sales (prior to the planning only a handful of existing settlements were built on the fringe of the grid). The grid featured wide parallel streets, spanning a gently sloping valley between hills (Batman's Hill, Flagstaff Hill and Eastern Hill) and roughly parallel to the course of the Yarra River. The deliberate exclusion of city squares or open space within the grid was a subject of future frustration for the municipality and residents. Elizabeth Street, Melbourne in the centre of the grid was built over a gully and has therefore been prone to flooding. Despite a later extension, the plans were not as extensive as Adelaide's and the city so rapidly outgrew its original boundaries that it is often not considered to be a planned city. Though the grid does defines much of the character of the Melbourne city centre.


Inner Canberra demonstrates some aspects of the Griffin plan, in particular the Parliamentary Triangle

Canberra, established in 1908, was planned as the capital city of Australia and is Australia's most notable and ambitious example of civic planning. The city was designed to be the Federal Capital following the federation of the six Australian colonies which formed the Commonwealth of Australia. The new nation required a capital that was located away from other major settlements such as Melbourne and Sydney. Canberra is thus located in a Territory - the Australian Capital Territory - and not a State. Prior to this time the land that Canberra is found on was farming land, indigenous settlements, and forest. In 1912, after an extensive planning competition was completed, the vision of American Walter Burley Griffin was chosen as the winning design for the city. Extensive construction and public works were required to complete the city, this involved the flooding of a large parcel of land to form the center piece of the city, Lake Burley Griffin. Unlike some other Australian cities, the road network, suburbs, parks and other elements of the city were designed in context with each other, rather than haphazard planning as witnessed in much of Sydney. Notable buildings include the High Court, Federal Parliament, Government House, War Memorial, Anzac Parade and headquarters of the Department of Defence.

New Zealand

New Zealand has several small New Towns, built for a specific purpose. Examples include Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty (a mill town), Twizel in North Otago, and Mangakino in the Waikato (both for hydroelectricity). Construction of Kawerau began in 1953. Twizel was built in 1968 to service nearby hydroelectric projects, and was to close on their completion. However, its residents fought to save the town during 1983. Mangakino, constructed from 1946 was also meant to be a temporary construction town, but it too remains today.

South America


The country's capital, Brasília, was a planned city built in the middle of the vast empty center of Brazil, at that time (1960) thousands of kilometers from any big city. It was built in four years and concrete needed to be transported occasionally by airplane.

The former capital of Brazil was Rio de Janeiro, and resources tended to be concentrated in the southeast region of Brazil. While the city was built because there was a need for a neutrally-located federal capital, the main reason was to promote the development of Brazil's hinterland and better integrate the entire territory of Brazil. Brasília is approximately at the geographical center of Brazilian territory.

Lúcio Costa, the city's principal architect, designed the city to be shaped like an airplane. Housing and offices are situated on giant superblocks, everything following the original plan. The plan specifies which zones are residential, which zones are commercial, where industries can settle, where official buildings can be built, the maximum height of buildings, etc.

Other notable planned cities in Brazil include Teresina, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte (inaugurated in 1897), Petrópolis, Boa Vista, Goiânia, Palmas, Londrina, and Maringá (the latter two in the state of Paraná).

See also


  1. ^ The maker of modern cities
  2. ^ Building Social Housing Foundation, Tampines Town, accessed 19 Mar 2007.

External links


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