This plan for the new city of Milton Keynes is the culmination of the ideas and thinking of many people; for it takes all sorts to make a city, to design it and build it, and to live in it.
Milton Keynes is a planned post-war new town incorporating pre-existing towns and villages. Its purpose was to provide houses and jobs for 70,000 newcomers to the area by 1981 and 150,000 by 1990, combining with the existing population to create a new city for 250,000 people. Most of these new residents would come from London, but it was planned for some to also come from south Buckinghamshire.
The Plan for Milton Keynes was produced by consultants Llewelyn-Davies Weeks Forestier-Walker & Bor from a brief written by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation – the organisation tasked with designing and implementing the new city. Work on the masterplan started in December 1967. The Plan sets out the main aims of Milton Keynes but is deliberately flexible to allow for organic development. Fixed elements such as transport, drainage and water supply would be used to create a framework where social and economic development could react to changing circumstances. The intention was not to prescribe a way of life, but offer opportunities for residents to choose and build a life for themselves. The final form of the city was to be an expression of its people’s wishes.
The other post-war new towns were reviewed and lessons were learned. The difficulties of poor housing, and problems accessing work and social services were highlighted as contributors to poverty. Racism in the physical and institutional structure of cities was recognised as a barrier for minority groups, whose access to opportunities was slower because of discrimination. The link between social development services and housing management was highlighted as important in order to reach new residents whose needs fell outside traditional statutory services.
It was predicted that in the future there would be higher incomes, more demand for higher education, more leisure time and advances in science and technology. These would all have an effect on the design and development of Milton Keynes.
Six goals were decided upon, which ran through all the proposals put forward in the plan.
Since the initial idea of the new city many artists, designers and architects put down images and ideas of what they thought this city could look like. Here’s a few of our favourites – which is yours?