‘In the next year or so we will be judged by the number of houses we have put up. But in ten years we will be judged by the quality of those homes.’
Aneurin Bevan, 1946
These essays, and the concept of ‘city villages’ as a new urban movement to help solve the housing crisis and build better communities, grew out of extensive and highly stimulating conversations with the contributors during the summer and autumn of 2014, culminating in a seminar kindly hosted by Richard Rogers. I am hugely grateful to them all.
Peter Hall, who had been an inspirational advisor to me when I was at the Department for Transport, also hosted a seminar, at the Bartlett School at UCL. Sadly, Peter died before this collection could be published. His essay in this book was his last work and is a fitting tribute to his passions and his career.
Housing is arguably the biggest public policy challenge of the next decade. There is no single way forward, but city villages have a major part to play.