There are plans in the works in the U.K. to create a new type of housing settlement called eco-towns. There are expected to be five eco-towns built by 2016, scaling up to 10 by 2020 with populations of around 5,000 to 20,000. A unique feature of these eco-towns will be the very low 15 mile per hour speed limit leading into the downtown area. The downtown will allow no cars at all.

Housing minister Caroline Flint says, "These developments will be exemplars for the rest of the world, not just the rest of the country. It's critical that we get it right - and I make no apology for setting the bar as high as possible." Flint sees public transportation, bicycling and good old fashioned walking as acceptable alternatives to driving, with a goal of cutting unnecessary car trips in half.

Not all green-leaning people are happy with the plans, though. Some believe that the resources of surrounding areas will increase due to the eco-towns while others believe that legislation is focusing in too much on transportation while leaving other important eco-issues up to the developers.

[Source: BBC, Daily Telegraph]


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