The project that won the £250,000 Wolfson Economic Prize in 2014 (launched and exhibited in this very building rethinks the Green Belt as the heart of its proposal. It takes the brief to design a new form of garden city (working title ‘Uxcester’) and proposes to graft it to an existing town or small city, doubling this in size to 400,000. It does this by building satellite towns c.10km from the original settlement centre. URBED says development on low-value green space can provide investment for improved public areas and biodiversity:
"The farmland around the city is currently not accessible to the public and of little ecological value. The concept is that for every hectare of development another will be given back to the city as accessible public space, forests, lakes country parks, etc.”
URBED proposes a ‘social contract’ to win over opposition with a 40-year vision for investment in a green grid of open spaces and other enhancements to the living experience. Economic value from the planning change is carefully shared to ensure original landowners, developers and the community can all benefit adequately.
Project team: URBED (led by David Rudlin and Nicholas Falk)