Under the ConnectedCity master plans all undeveloped land not in a pedshed was designated as Green Belt and protected from development
Vision from 2050
In most countrie despite the growth in population, the countryside is almost unchanged except for improved sanitation, housing and agricolture.
As a result the traditional pattern of small settlements in the countryside has been preserved, The population of the villages and rural towns not in walking distance of inter-town transport has remained more or less static.
Development in this rural hinterland is limited to, for example:
small scale projects in rural towns and villages to provide housing, employment or facilities for local people;
building in the interests of sustainability, such as green energy generation;
making appropriate use of a heritage building; or development in its grounds to fund its restoration.
There is much more public access to the countryside, particularly around the Connected Towns. The paths through the green corridors separating the villages of new green quarters and new green towns continue through the protected rural land around them, creating coherent cycle and footpath networks across the country.
In the past adding to the edges of towns cut off exactly the parts of the countryside which townspeople most valued, as they used them for recreational purposes and visual enjoyment. New green towns sited away from existing settlements had far less impact.
Agriculture is much more integrated into the life of ordinary people than it was fifty years ago. Local food production is the norm, much of it from gardens, vegetable plots, community farms, farmshares. and intensive hydroponic farms.
Despite the increased population, Most countries are now almost self-sufficient in food. Diets are greener and healthier, with more locally grown food. Imported food is mostly delivered by rail to local rail freight interchanges.
Green belt, All undeveloped land is designated as green belt and protected from development
In the UK National Policy for Green Belts was included within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). There were five purposes of Green Belt:
To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
To prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.
In addition it was widely recognised that Green Belt should increase access to the countryside, and that Green Belt boundaries should be ‘defensible’, i.e. marked by clear landscape features not vulnerable to development pressures. Previous piecemeal development of settlement edges had contributed to sprawl, sometimes cause towns to merge, and encroach into the countryside. It also moved the countryside further from the people. Where New Green Towns of Connected Cities were developed in what was previously the Green Belt they were always in carefully selected new locations so that they did not cause sprawl, the merger of towns or impact upon the setting of historic towns. They were also confined to defensible boundaries. The new settlements inevitably cause physical encroachment into the countryside, but to a much lesser degree than the same amount of development on a settlement edge. And most importantly, they were located to maximise sustainable transport and minimise car use.