Posted: 14/11/2014 at 22:53
I can suggest a way to reduce the space needed and provide that safe place for children to play, and it's based on some things that've already been mentioned: "quadrangle farm" and "farm divided into residences." A hollow square block with, for example, two three-bedroom apartments on each side of each of three floors isn't a towering eyesore and provides 24 homes on much less land than 24 houses would need. Nobody gets their own garden, but all the kids get the shared inner space where nobody is going to be bundling them into the back of his car (almost never happens anyway) and nobody is going to be running over them in his car (happens all the time) because there are no cars.
My problem with this line about us needing to build 200,000 new homes a year is that it's linear. It's not:
"We need 1,000,000 new homes;"
"We need to build 200,000 new homes next year, 180,000 the year after that, 160,000 the year after that and so on, and by 2030 we'll be removing old housing stock and turning that land back to food production, wildlife habitats and outdoor activity areas;"
"We need to build 200,000 new homes a year to replace the ones that are being consumed by the rampant forest in its unstoppable advance."
No. It's just straight-out "we need to build 200,000 new homes a year," meaning every year from now on, for the foreseeable future. 200,000 next year, 2,000,000 in the next decade, 20,000,000 by the start of 2115 and so on. There'll be nothing left. They'll have to build levees and polders, drain the marshes and build on marsh and flood plain. It'll be one big conurbation from Dover to Southampton, Morecambe and Grimsby, with Peak District and Pennine "parks" and little green areas upstream of councillors' own houses. Of course, by 2115 we're looking at droughts, floods, famines, plagues and the Thames Flood Barrier being overwhelmed any time a strong easterly wind blows across a spring high tide.