It has been announced that Ebbsfleet in Kent will become the first garden city development in Britain for 100 years. The development of a new generation of garden cities provides all sorts of opportunities to key into the latest thinking on urban development, including incorporating space for cycling. Designing the new garden cities around the bike, rather than the car, will result in huge benefits in terms of health, air pollution and noise pollution, and would create a generally more pleasant environment in which to live.
There already is a station on the high speed line from London to Europe there, so it’s probable this development has been coming for some time. Good rail connections will fit perfectly with a properly integrated cycling network, such as those in Malmo in Sweden and Eindhoven in The Netherlands. There you can cycle from home on separated cycle lanes to the rail station, park your bike in excellent facilities and then travel onwards by train.
It also provides opportunity for developments such as Bjarke Ingels innovative 8 House in Copenhagen, which includes a gently-ramped cycleway linking all the apartments within the development. Let’s hope that some of the creative architecture displayed by British architects all over London in recent years will also be harnessed in building these new garden cities, building a better place for people to live. That has to include cycling as an integral part of the urban design.