International New Town Day 2017 New Towns as Cities of Comings and Goings: Presents & Futures
Milton Keynes, June 28, 2017

On the 28th of June 2017, INTI will organise the second edition of the International New Town Day. This will be a one-day conference in Milton Keynes proposing a reflection on presents and future challenges and opportunities of New Towns as Cities of Comings and Goings.
Co-organized with the Academy of Urbanism and the Municipality of Milton Keynes on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary, the event will bring together an astonishing range of new cities’ representatives and experts from all over the world.

New Towns built during the second half of the 20st Century share a lot of similarities. Not only in the way they are planned and designed, but these post war New Towns also share a static model of society. This was rooted in the welfare state model in Western Europe, the ambitions of the new nation states in Africa, and the ideals of communist society in Eastern Europe. Their different ideologies didn’t take migration into account nor the dynamics connected to it. Still, migration was a factor from the very beginning: by definition, New Towns have no ‘original’ inhabitants – every resident is a migrant.

In the 50’s and 60’s the population of the post-war New Towns was relatively homogeneous, but starting with the non-western migration in the 70’s this changed. European New Towns were not built with this migration in mind; yet they have all experienced this same phenomenon.
Some New Towns have taken on the function of housing newcomers and they have become ‘Arrival Cities’, like Gellerup (Denmark) or Thamesmead (UK). In other cases, like Almere (NL) or Milton Keynes (UK), the New Towns have become the preferred housing environment of a migrant middle class that has adopted the suburban lifestyle.

Our cities are more and more becoming ‘Cities of Comings and Goings’ with a population that is not static, but growing and shrinking and increasingly mobile. Not only the refugee crisis has taught us this lesson, but also the increasing amount of international students, expats, economic migrants, asylum seekers and foreign workers. Now that we’re experiencing new waves of migration and dynamic living in cities becomes more and more ubiquitous, we can recognize migration as a permanent force in our cities.

On International New Town Day we will examine Presents & Futures of New Towns as Cities of Comings and Goings.
Presents: How can we understand and analyse the present New Towns, reflecting on their identity, culture and diversity as places where people have migrated to and from? What narratives can we construct that include the dynamics and the diversity of its population and its culture?

Futures: what futures can we think of for our New Towns? With the perspective of migration as a permanent phenomenon, how can New Towns better adjust and anticipate to these developments?

The conference will offer a platform for sharing experiences and best practices with a number of UK, European and other international urban experts.

June 27 Welcoming & Networking Diner
June 28 International New Town Day 2017
June 29 Tour Milton Keynes
June 30 Conference Academy of Urbanism
July 1st Tour London

More updates will be published soon.

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