After 25 Years, Poundbury's Revolutionary Traditionalism Still Divides

Designed by architect Léon Krier, and spearheaded by Prince Charles, the 'model village' on 400 acres outside of Dorchester, England was begun 25 years ago. As Graham Norwood reports, its success is still a matter for debate.

Although its neo-traditional architecture is derided by some, and the downturn has pushed back its expected completion date, the pioneering New Urbanist development remains popular among homebuyers. As Norwood notes, "estate agents claim Poundbury's homes have sold more rapidly and at higher prices than those in adjoining Dorchester."

But just what type of homebuyer is moving in? According to Norwood, an "influx of older residents, along with agents reporting an above-average number of mature buyers, may fuel the belief that Poundbury's traditional values appeal only to a more senior subset of the population."

Despite concerns about the wider appeal for the Poundbury development type, two projects based on the same principles, to be located at the Newquay Growth Area, a coastal resort in the far south-west of England, and at the nearby town of Truro, are proceeding. 

"The Duchy claims support for these schemes from local authorities and developers shows the prince's approach to building is gaining momentum," says Norwood. "Critics are less convinced, nick-naming the coastal scheme Surfbury and the supermarket-backed venture Trolleybury, and accusing both of turning the clock back in terms of design."

Full Story: Model village

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00