Tuesday, August 22, 2006

HDB housing and Milton Keynes | strange parallels

Milton Keynes looks set to become the first British town to get a high-speed wireless network based on so-called Wimax technology. Net connection firm Pipex is to trial a network in the town, which should be up and running by the end of 2006. Unlike wi-fi technology, Wimax offers high-speed net access over long distances, instead of just a few metres.
From the BBC

Not a lot of people know this, but Milton Keynes is the best example of the product of the British New Town policy - essentially, a planned town, based off Ebenezer's 1900 Garden City movement. (Crib your info here)

If the terms sound familiar to Singaporeans, they should. The HDB new towns are based on this idea of planned, self-contained sub-urban developments, all ringed around the city centre. And Garden City movement - you're living in an adapted version of it.

So historically, this is interesting, as Milton Keynes, which was a sort of experimental piece for the UK at large, is being used here again as a testing pad for Wimax.

And for the HDB cynics amongst you, if you're interested as to how it is perceived by the British public...

Milton Keynes also appears in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book Good Omens, as an example of a town neither heaven nor hell take credit for, but both regard as a success: "it was built to be modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live. Many Britons find this amusing."
... yes, they do feel the same way we do about HDB new towns. Well, I do.


At 10:14 am, Blogger Ng Yi-Sheng said...

I also like the fact that both the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley claim credit for having instigated its creation. :)


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