End of Season Promotion for Milton Keynes

After it’s ‘creation’ over 50 years ago, and on its 4th attempt to gain city status Milton Keynes has finally had the promotion it deserves from a post-war New Town to a fully-fledged City.

The original idea for the new town came from a local authority, with a vision and masterplan based around “an open-ended plan that was deliberately not brought to conclusion to leave it open for future growth” [1]. How refreshing.  Not only has the implementation of the masterplan stood the test of time, its green and grey grid system is an exemplar of how designing and futureproofing infrastructure allows new technologies and thinking to be integrated into the original structure of the city without the need for demotion and re-build – a key element in reducing carbon throughout the lifetime of cities.

With a population nearing a quarter of a million, living contentedly alongside 22 million trees woven into the city’s abundant green infrastructure, Milton Keynes was designed so everyone was a short walk from green spaces within ‘a City in a Forest.’ That vision can now claim to be fully realised. New neighbourhoods are inter-linked by the linear park system and Redways which cater for MK’s array of walkers, runners, cyclists and more recently scooters and of course Starship delivery robots. The infrastructure adapts to modern demands for travel and lifestyles and MK has become a hub for innovation and a testbed for smart city projects.

A home for many of us here at DLA, MK is more than that; it has been central to the creation and ethos of David Lock Associates. Whilst few of us are indigenous locals, many have moved from across the country and beyond to live, work and embrace the Milton Keynes way of life.

[1] David Lock; Planning Resource Article How we did it: MK’s sixfold population growth, Spring 2022.