A debate about housing density, ideal homes and the traffic menace …

May 1912

The origins of PPG3?

MR RAYMOND UNWIN in a letter to the Times points out that in limiting the number of houses to be built on an acre of land the speculator is tempted to erect larger houses on each plot, which may come to be occupied by two or more families, thus perpetuating a state of affairs that is one of the aims of the Town Planning Act to abolish.

Now why not solve the problem by stipulating that not more than a certain amount of cubic feet of building should be constructed per acre? This would allow the utmost freedom in erecting the class of property most nearly suited to the requirements without putting a premium on the larger house, which may become liable to misuse.

Living space for families

Sir, Referring to the “Note” upon my letter to the Times, it seems to me that the contributor is mistaken in assuming that the limitations of the number of houses to the acre is merely a question of maintaining a certain fixed relation between the cubic contents of the building and the area of ground around that building. Another, and on the whole more important matter, is to limit the number of families living upon the acre in order to secure to each family cultivation of a garden and for suitable recreation for the children.

Raymond Unwin

Ideal homes

Naturally the dominating feature of the Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia is the “Ideal House” placed in the centre. This house, built from the prize design by Mr Reginald C Fry in conjunction with Mr H Clarke jun, is really a remarkable achievement in construction, having been erected by Messrs H&G Taylor in 10 days.

Accidents waiting to happen

The recent return relating to street accidents during the year 1911 furnishes subject for reflection. The number of accidents known to the public in the UK was 35,210, an increase of nearly 3,000 on the previous year – this increase being chiefly due to accidents caused by mechanically propelled vehicles.

In 1904 the total number of street accidents was only some 22,568, so in the seven years since then street accidents have risen by nearly 13,000. No doubt the mixed traffic with vehicles of different speeds has enhanced the dangers of the street from both horse-drawn and motor traffic, especially in the metropolis.

The street-widening schemes, which have been carried out in the last few years have rendered crossings more dangerous to nervous persons. A wide thoroughfare crowded with traffic of varying speeds is even a trial to the strongest nerves. With a death toll of 410 and personal injuries numbering 15,254 in the metropolis alone this is a question that calls for prompt consideration.