The Green Belt around many Uk cities is now seen as almost more important than our National landscapes such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks where planning still makes spaces for communities to expand and build new homes. But in the Green Belt taking spaces for homes or for businesses is so deeply frowned upon that it does not happen. So how did we arrive at this impasse in the Green Belts?
Ebenezer Howard, father of so much of modern town planning saw the green areas around his first Garden City as the places the citizens owned together for farms, recreation areas and through which roads and rail lines connected them to adjacent cities. So maybe we should think again along these lines? The growing footprint of a town could accommodate farming businesses. Roof spaces, basements (mushroom farming in modern ‘caves’?) could be used. Green paths linking wildlife habitats would also be useful to manage water flowing through the area. We need to have a new vision for green spaces and living in them.