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Eco-towns, New Labour and sustainable residential development

Jonathan P. Manns


The three-legged stool of sustainability is embodied within the eco-towns debate as a popularist and politically mobilised concept. This is most distinguishable when considered within a housing-orientated framework and which reveals significant economic, social and environmental risks to the eco-towns programme. This creates a complicated position for various actors, with ramifications which extend across the entire development industry. These are entirely surmountable through shrewd policy decisions at every level, although require continued enthusiasm from each professional, political and public participant if an effective mediation of our built environment is to be achieved. Predominantly this must be underpinned by a rational and critical decision process which builds upon stronger elements of the eco-towns programme and incorporates them within a wider policy perspective irrespective of the political gains that reside through emphasis elsewhere.


DOI: 10.3351/ppp.0002.0003.0003