chapter  5
The continuum
Pages 26

However celebrated for his anticipation of the future, Wells’s vision of what amounts to an urban/rural continuum is extraordinary even by his standards, and offers a conceptual alternative to the bounded Garden City and the bounded Compact City models for Ecological Urbanism. This not only allows us to stop thinking in terms of binary opposites – centre vs. edge, brownfield vs. greenfield, compact vs. decentralised, good vs. bad – but to join environmental discourse with socio-political discourse to a much greater degree. It enables us to think of all types of settlement – urban, suburban, rural – as parts of a continuum or field. This has far-reaching implications for politicians, planners and urban designers alike, who would have to address them all with equal attention, not privilege one over the others. The ‘continuum’ – a field of greater and lesser intensities of the built and the unbuilt – is the most interesting, most radical and therefore least realised of the three models for an Ecological Urbanism.