How do we showcase the Garden City of the Future?
This is one of the central questions that a local team of city representatives, food activists and design researchers explored during last week’s two-day working meeting in Letchworth, UK. Joined by Vic Borrill, Brighton&Hove Food Partnership, and André Viljoen and Katrin Bohn, University of Brighton, as their consultants, the local team discussed visions for (food-)productive urban landscapes in the world’s first Garden City.
An extensive visit of different Garden City estates, food growing and food provision sites, allotments and green infrastructure elements – prepared and led by Julia Sonander, trustee of Transition Town Letchworth – made visible the beauty and open space characteristics of the city as well as its unique potential (and need) for local food production and other food system activities. Afterwards, the group met for strategic discussions in the city planning offices. The meetings were led by David Ames and Kevin Jones, Executive Director for Stewardship and Development and trustee at the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation respectively, and dealt with the group’s visions for the Garden City of the Future and how specifically its food provision aspects could become more sustainable and resilient.
The meetings happened as part of the Horizon2020 innovation action project EdiCitNet to which Letchworth Garden City, Brighton&Hove Food Partnership and the University of Brighton are consortium partners. Having started in 2018 and running until 2023, the project enables the masterplanning and testing of food-focused urban design and planning thus informing the city’s ongoing sustainable food provision activities.
For more information on Letchworth see here.
For information on the project The Garden City of the Future see here.
Image: The Wynd, a pedestrianised retail and artisan-workshop street in the centre of Letchworth, is lined with two rows of fruit trees. (source: Katrin Bohn 2020)