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new towns,planned urban communities in Great Britain, developed by long-term loans from the central government and first authorized by the New Towns Act of 1946. The chief purpose of the act was to reduce congestion in the great cities (or at least prevent its increase) through the creation of attractive, healthful urban units that would provide local employment for their residents. The idea goes back to the book by Ebenezer HowardHoward, Sir Ebenezer,
1850–1928, English town planner, principal founder of the English garden-city movement. His To-morrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform (1898), reissued as Garden Cities of To-morrow
..... Click the link for more information. on "garden cities" (1898). It was given impetus by the example of the "new towns" of LetchworthLetchworth,
town (1991 pop. 31,146), Hertfordshire, E central England. It was the first garden city, founded in 1903 by Sir Ebenezer Howard. Industries focus on printing and the manufacture of printing machinery.
..... Click the link for more information. (1903) and Welwyn Garden CityWelwyn Garden City
, town (1991 pop. 40,665), Hertfordshire, E central England. It is a garden city, founded by Ebenezer Howard in 1920, as well as one of the new towns. Its industries produce a variety of products, including radio and television sets.
..... Click the link for more information. (1919–20), both established with private capital. The act of 1946 empowered the government to designate areas (which might or might not already contain an existing municipality) as new towns, to appoint development corporations, and to approve their plans. New towns in Northern Ireland were designed to have development commissions, established and governed under a separate act (1965). New towns were intended to alleviate the growth problems of Greater London, Manchester, and other urban areas. New towns were also designated to stimulate economic growth (CraigavonCraigavon,
town (1991 pop. 11,000) and district, S central Northern Ireland. Craigavon was designated one of the new towns in 1962, primarily to stimulate economic growth.
..... Click the link for more information. ), to provide needed housing and community services for industrial areas (CorbyCorby,
town (1991 pop. 48,704) and district, Northamptonshire, central England. Situated over one of the world's largest ironstone fields, Corby has grown rapidly since the 1930s, when new techniques of steel production were developed.
..... Click the link for more information. , GlenrothesGlenrothes
, town (1991 pop. 33,639), Fife, E Scotland, on the Leven River. Glenrothes was designated one of the new towns in 1948 to provide housing, community services, and increased social and economic diversity for an expanding mining area.
..... Click the link for more information. , CwmbrânCwmbrân
, city (1981 pop. 44,592), Torfaen, SE Wales. Cwmbrân was created under the New Town Act of 1946 to house employees of the nearby steelworks. It has diverse industries, including the production of car parts, nylon yarn, and cookies.
..... Click the link for more information. ), or to decentralize population through the expansion of already large towns (PeterboroughPeterborough,
city and unitary authority (1991 pop. 155,050), E central England, on the Nene River. Designated as a new town in 1968, Peterborough is an engineering and rail hub and a farm trade center. Products include diesel engines, farm machinery, and processed foods.
..... Click the link for more information. , NorthamptonNorthampton,
city (1991 pop. 154,172) and district, Northamptonshire, central England, on the Nene River. The city of Northampton is the county seat. Shoemaking has long been the chief industry; engineering is second (roller bearings, earth-moving equipment, and motor vehicle
..... Click the link for more information. , and IpswichIpswich,
city (1991 pop. 129,661) and district, Suffolk, E England, on the Orwell estuary 12 mi (19 km) from its entry into the North Sea. Ipswich is the county seat of Suffolk.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Central Lancashire New Town, designated in 1970, represented yet another variation, the "clustertown."
See Sir Frederic Osborn and A. Whettick, The New Towns (2d rev. ed. 1969); H. Evans, ed., New Towns: The British Experience (1972).
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new townsnew urban centres, constructed under the New Towns Act 1946 and subsequent legislation, and built either entirely on a new site or by expanding an existing smaller town. The idea of new towns can be traced to Ebenezer Howard's earlier creation of‘garden cities’. Although new towns, mainly required to accommodate an increasing population, were intended to have a balanced social structure and a full range of social services and amenities, they have been criticized for failing to achieve these objectives.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000