The towns will contribute different qualities: some will be old, and some new; some large, some small; some commercail, some academic; some busy, some quiet; some expensive, some cheaper – giving unity with the diversity of a city.
All development in ConnectedTowns is close to stations. Away from the stations all undeveloped areas are preserved as green belt. The populaton of the towns in a ConnectedCity jointly decide where to accommodate the whole city’s growth. Three possiblites combine.
Existing towns with a Town Growth Zone (TGZ)
These accommodate their growth with no sprawl. The town stays strictly within its existing boundaries. The area around the station is improved and densified, giving growth at its centre. If the existing centre is not where station is located, then the two are linked by mall.
There is no development pressure on most of the town, as growth only occurs around the station. Countryside on edge of town is completely protected, with no piecemeal eating away.
Existing towns with a TGZ plus New Green Quarter(s) (NGQ’s)
These towns improve and densify their centre in a TGZ around the station. They also extend at their edge but only where a new station is built – at the point where the railway crosses the edge of the town.
The new station makes the town ‘smaller’, as journey time within the town is reduced. It serves both new housing and the existing town periphery, which was previously far from the centre. New shops, services etc around the new station add resources to edge of the town and provide excellent public transport where ‘out of town’ facilities otherwise encourage car use. Again, there is no development pressure on most of the town, as growth only occurs around the stations. Countryside on edge of town is completely protected, with no piecemeal eating away.
New Green Towns (NGT’s)
These are entirely new compact settlements around new railway stations. They are quite small, with a radius of 1km and a population of 30,000 - the same as Howard’s Garden City - but over 40% of their land is green space.
The whole town is walkable, with protected walkways converging on the town centre around the new station. As a result walking, cycling and public transport are the natural form of travel, and there is limited demand for cars.
A New Green Town has its own commercial area and jobs, schools, shopping, leisure, etc. But crucially it also has easy access to all the existing facities of its ConnectedCity eg. Hospital, colleges, employment opportunities, retail choice, which a small town cannot provide – especially when new.
NGT’s are penetrated by green wedges which bring the surrounding countryside right into the town centre. Meanwhile the countryside at its periphery is completely protected, and made available for public enjoyment.