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Letchworth Garden City recognised as a planning jewel

19 May 2014

cath in letchworthLetchworth Garden City was recognised as a planning “jewel” with the award of a certificate last week (14 May) by the President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to mark its historical importance and influence in worldwide planning.

Pictured: Cath Ranson, RTPI President, and David Ames, Head of Strategic Planning and Heritage at Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.

Awarding the certificate, part of the Institute’s centenary year celebrations, Cath Ranson, President of the RTPI, said: “As the very first garden city, Letchworth’s planners not only created a thriving vibrant and ultimately extremely successful community, they started a movement that is an inspiration even today. Letchworth is truly a jewel in planning’s crown and I am delighted to present the ‘Mature Planned Communities certificate’ to the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.”

David Ames, Head of Strategic Planning and Heritage at Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, said: "The ambition for Letchworth Garden City was to create a great place to live, with good quality homes with gardens, jobs, social amenities and transport links and a test bed for future new settlements. The need to provide great new places is as pressing today and it is exciting to find planners in the UK and across the world, looking to understand the reality of Garden Cities, where it all began, in Letchworth."

Located in North Hertfordshire, 35 miles north of London, Letchworth is the world’s first Garden City, created as a solution to the squalor and poverty of urban life in Britain in the late 19th Century. Based on the ideas of Ebenezer Howard as published in his book of 1898  “Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Reform”. Letchworth Garden City inspired town planning across the globe.

Howard’s company First Garden City Ltd began construction in 1903. The company appointed architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin to design the masterplan for the new community.  Central to the Company’s ethos was a commitment to repatriate all profits back into the Estate. In 1962, an Act of Parliament transferred the assets, role and responsibilities of First Garden City Ltd to a public sector organisation - Letchworth Garden City Corporation. 33 years later, a further Act of Parliament wound up the Corporation passing the £56 million Estate to Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.

East of England Presidential Visit

3 MagnetsThe presentation of the certificate to the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation was part of Cath Ranson's Presidential visit to the East of England. 

Another key element was speaking to the conference on the future of Garden Cities, held in the iconic Spirella Building - a former corset factory in Letchworth!

Pictured: RTPI East of England Chair, Paul Maion, RTPI President Cath Ranson, and David Lock CBE.

Read more abut the conference, kindly sponsored by David Lock Associates.