Ok, so it’s a little wacky, but…

For those who may be overwhelmed by the eccentric, wild and entirely unconventional theme, there’s still a lot to admire about New Islington, a new $460 million, 29-acre, 1400-home urban village redevelopment within central city Manchester, England.

One of its main objectives is to be a benchmark for environmentally sustainable development, to “influence the homebuilding industry and to encourage higher standards of innovation and energy efficiency. Energy will be generated on-site and homes will follow green building principles. Quality of life is another goal, as New Islington will be largely pedestrian-focused, with 10,000 feet of canal frontage and numerous public spaces and parks.

Talk about a model for public-private partnership: The Manchester City Council is putting up the land; England’s sustainable redevelopment agency, English Partnerships will ‘clean and green’ the site; and Urban Splash is the master developer. You gotta love the avant-garde and touch of irreverence in the following excerpt of their vision:

“We think that the best communities work when they are mixed – mixed income, mixed tenure, mixed age, mixed everything.

We want New Islington to have:
the best fish and chip shop,
a greengrocer, a newsagent, a bookies,
an Indian takeaway,
a hairdressers, a coffee shop,
a beautiful launderette,
a poncey wine bar, a great pub,
a caff, a café, a greasy spoon,
a chic little Italian with red checked tablecloths
and a restaurant with 3 Michelin stars

We want New Islington to have:
a new clinic – that’s state of the art, alternative therapists, witch doctors, potions and national health, a new primary school that tops the league tables, a fantastic nursery and a wonderful crèche, a footie pitch that’s safe to use, a farmers market to buy local food.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *