Why Housing Developments Aren’t Cool

Huge new housing developments – like Great Western Park and Brunel Rise in Didcot – have always felt cold & soulless to me. I’ve often thought this was just due to their imposing size. But even some of the smaller ones feel the same too.

Then something stuck me. Whist on a break and looking for somewhere cool to park in the shade, I couldn’t find ANYWHERE. There was no shade to be found. And that’s because there are no trees. Certainly no mature ones, just a few carefully planted saplings for cosmetic effect.

The places are devoid of anything mature. No connection to the past in way, shape or form. And all the corollaries of no trees – no where for birds to nest, no summer or autumn colour, no seasonal variations, no leaves to compost, as well as no areas of shade.

There’s nothing “organic” about these places at all – literally, or sociologicaly. They’re more like residential factories than communities.

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