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Understanding Milton Keynes

Updated Wednesday, 27 July 2022
Much like The Open University, its home Milton Keynes took a less than conventional approach when it was designed. Watch our feature-length videos.

Very few places in England elicit the type of response that you might get when you mention the words 'Milton Keynes'.

Like the Royal family, the very existence of Milton Keynes is considered contentious and many people have very strong opinions about whether it should exist at all.

This video explores everything from the sociological ideas behind the development of Milton Keynes through to its commitment to public art and how organisations like The Parks Trust provide a unique model for maintaining green spaces.


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If you don't have time to watch the whole video, you can jump to a specific section. These links will take you to the YouTube video at a particular time stamp.

  1. A brief history of new towns
  2. Pooleyville: a monorail for what would become Milton Keynes
  3. Introducing the Milton Keynes Development Corporation
  4. Master planners: a brief history of the people behind the design
  5. Community without propinquity: the sociological ideas behind the design
  6. How do you build a city?
  7. How do you build a community?
  8. The socialist ideas championed by Lord Campbell
  9. Here comes Maggie
  10. Milton Keynes should be more like everywhere else
  11. The grid system of roads
  12. Where are all the people?
  13. A city in a forest
  14. Culture in Milton Keynes
  15. Arts in Milton Keynes
  16. Economics of Milton Keynes
  17. Milton Keynes and The Open University
  18. The failure of public transport—and how it could change
  19. Ethnic diversity in Milton Keynes
  20. How Milton Keynes is portrayed in the media
  21. Final thoughts

More about Milton Keynes and cities



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