"[T]he ideas and ideals behind their construction are beginning to re-emerge. The urban expansion of the industrial revolution is happening again in the developing world, most notably in China, prompting the same questions about provision for workers. Europe and America are reflecting on their own cities and workplaces, and questioning their appropriateness for the challenges of our age; health and happiness, community cohesion and environmental sustainability.
In terms of health and happiness, according to Jody Aked, project manager at the New Economics Foundation's Centre for Well-being, nothing makes us glummer than the daily commute. 'A study in the US of 900 or so participants showed that, of all daily activities, commuting was the one that led to the least happiness – sex was the one that led to most,' she says."
In places like China and the Persian Gulf, new cities are being built based on guidelines similar to Victorian-era utopian villages. But in the UK, the birthplace of these ideas, few projects are being built.