Terry Pratchett - David Lock - The Style Council - Richard Macer: Milton Keynes & Me TV -
Neither claimed any responsibility for Milton Keynes, but both reported it as a success. Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
The geography of Milton Keynes – the railway line, Watling Street, Grand Union Canal, M1 motorway – sets up a very strong north-south axis. If you’ve got to build a city between (them) it is very natural to take a pen and draw the rungs of a ladder. Ten miles by six is the size of this city – 22,000 acres. Do you lay it out like an American city, rigid orthogonal from side to side? Being more sensitive in 1966-7, the designers decided that the grid concept should apply but should be a lazy grid following the flow of land, its valleys, its ebbs and flows. That would be nicer to look at, more economical and efficient to build, and would sit more beautifully as a landscape intervention. Professor David Lock, chief town planner
May I walk you home tonight
On this fine and lovely night tonight
We’ll walk past the luscious houses
Through rolling lawns and lovely flowers.
Our nice new town where the curtains are drawn
Where hope is started and dreams can be borne.
Let us share our insanity
Go mad together in Community
Boys on the corner looking for their supper
Boys ’round the green looking for some slaughter.
We used to chase dreams, now we chase the dragon
Mine is the semi with the Union Jack on.
In our paradise lost we’ll be finding our sanity
In this paradise found we’ll be losing our way.
For a brave new day.
May I slash my wrists tonight?
This fine Conservative night
I was looking for a job so I came to town
I easily adopt when the chips are down.
I read the ad about the private schemes
I liked the idea but now I’m not so Keyne.
God bless you all. God bless. The Style Council, Come to Milton Keynes
With one of the fastest growing economies in the country it’s a place you’ve all heard of but can’t quite picture. If you don’t live in Milton Keynes you might see it as a bit of a joke: a sunless place, the home of roundabouts and concrete cows. Richard Macer, Milton Keynes & Me, BBC 2017
Milton Keynes wasn’t just a building project, it was a massive experiment in social engineering. Conceived in 1967 it was decided to locate it exactly halfway between London and Birmingham. ibid.
‘I suppose we may be a bit biased but we think Milton Keynes is probably about the most exciting thing going on in Europe and perhaps the world.’ ibid. Fred Roche
Milton Keynes was the last of fourteen new towns created to rehouse people from the slums. ibid.
‘Wouldn’t it be nice if all cities were like Milton Keynes?’ ibid. television advert
It does feel green and safe and inclusive. ibid.