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'40 new garden cities needed' in next 20 years

Up to 40 new garden cities could be needed to meet the demand for housing in the UK during the next 20 years.Finalists for the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize say the number is required if politicians are serious about solving the housing crisis. Each of the urban areas would need to contain between 10,000 and 50,000 new homes.Earlier in the year, an extensive poll of 6,000 people revealed widespread support for garden cities, with 74 per cent of respondents agreeing that they are a good idea. Some 68 per cent of respondents also said garden cities would protect more countryside from development than the alternatives.The final five entries have been submitted for the £250,000 Wolfson Prize, which this year asked people to come up with the best answer to the question: "How would you deliver a new garden city which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?"Planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore proposed four types of garden city, including the 'greening' of existing new towns, to deliver up to 40 new developments. Each of these would provide 40-50,000 homes over the next 25 years, as well as 40-50,000 jobs.David Rudlin argues for existing large towns to be nearly doubled in size, delivering 86,000 new homes for 150,000 people over 30-35 years.Chris Blundell has proposed a garden city south-east of Maidstone (Kent) to accommodate around 15,000 homes, with 40 per cent of these affordable housing.Shelter's proposal involves a new development on the Hoo Peninsula in Medway, Kent. Beginning as a settlement of 15,000 homes, this would eventually grow into a garden city of 60,000 homes.Wei Yang & Partners and Peter Freeman argue for an arc of 30-40 garden cities stretching from Southampton to Oxford to Cambridge to Felixstowe, each consisting 10,000 homes.Founder of the prize, Lord (Simon) Wolfson of Aspley Guise, said: "We urgently need to build more houses in Britain. I am delighted that this year's Wolfson Economics Prize has generated so many powerful and creative proposals for new garden cities. "Together these entries present an overwhelming argument in favour of a new approach to solving our housing crisis." 

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