Poundbury, an innovative urban experiment located on the outskirts of Dorchester, Dorset, England, stands as a testament to a vision conceived by architect Léon Krier and endorsed by Charles, Prince of Wales. This unique town, situated on the Prince’s land, was designed with a commitment to traditional architecture and the principles of New Urbanism. Today, Poundbury is home to around 6,000 residents and has become a vibrant community that defies conventional urban planning norms.

One of Poundbury’s distinctive features is its adherence to four key principles that shape its character and functionality. The first principle is the “Architecture of place,” emphasizing the creation of beauty that reflects local character and identity. Poundbury’s streetscape, characterized by low-rise buildings, resonates with a human scale and echoes traditional design elements, earning praise for its aesthetics.

Another principle is the commitment to “Integrated affordable housing.” Throughout Poundbury, affordable housing blends seamlessly with private housing, eliminating the distinction and promoting a sense of inclusivity. This intentional integration challenges prevailing assumptions about housing and socioeconomic divisions in urban development.

Poundbury also embraces a “Mixed-use” philosophy, incorporating homes, public amenities, retail spaces, and various business uses, all designed to foster a cohesive community. This approach encourages social interaction and a diverse range of activities within a shared space.

The final guiding principle is the promotion of a “Walkable community.” In Poundbury, the emphasis is on prioritising people over cars, creating an environment where walking is convenient and accessible. This commitment to pedestrian-friendly design enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

As Poundbury has evolved, it has proven to be a genuine alternative to conventional approaches in building new communities in the UK. With a population of 6,000 and providing employment for over 2,000 people across 180 businesses, Poundbury’s success underscores the viability of its unique urban design principles. It challenges the norms of the late 20th-century planning paradigm, showcasing a model that prioritizes aesthetics, affordability, diversity, and walkability. Poundbury’s website offers additional insights for those interested in exploring this innovative town, making it an ideal destination for a family day out.

Poundbury reflects four key principles:

  • Architecture of place – creating beauty and reflecting local character and identity.
  • Integrated affordable housing – throughout the development and indistinguishable from private housing.
  • Mixed-use – homes, public amenities, retail and other business uses together with open areas, all designed as an overall community.
  • Walkable community – giving priority to people rather than to cars.

This approach challenges some of the planning assumptions of the latter part of the 20th century. As Poundbury has developed, it has demonstrated that there is a genuine alternative to the way in which we build new communities in the UK.

This really is the perfect day out for the whole family to enjoy, Poundbury has it’s own website whereby you can see all the list of attractions in the town and all the relevant information: poundbury.co.uk