In the UK, centrally planned urban area. New towns such as Milton Keynes and Stevenage were built after World War II to accommodate the overspill from cities and large towns, notably London, at a time when the population was rapidly expanding and inner-city centres had either decayed or been destroyed. In 1976 the policy, which had been criticized for disrupting family groupings and local communities, destroying small shops and specialist industries, and furthering the decay of city centres, was abandoned.
New towns are characterized by a regular street pattern and the presence of a number of self-contained neighbourhood units, consisting of houses, shops, and other local services. Modern industrial estates are located on the outskirts of towns where they are well served by main roads and motorways.
In order to stimulate employment in depressed areas, 14 original new towns were planned between 1946 and 1950, with populations of 25–60,000, among them Cwmbran (Wales) and Peterlee (Scotland), and eight near London to relieve congestion there. Another 15, with populations up to 250,000, were established 1951–75, but by then a static population and cuts in government spending halted their creation.
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Urban Design in the 20th Century
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