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Nov 21, 2006 at 07:30 PM

Cambridge Newtown - Cambridge, United Kingdom

The "Cambridge phenomenon" has come to parallel Silicon Valley: it has become a worldwide image or symbol of the innovative milieu. Cambridge as a high-tech centre is essentially a creation of the 1970's and 1980's and represents genuine entrepreneurial, new firm-based growth, based on computing, scientific and electronic equipment, and increasingly biotechnology - which had spun off from university research.

With this economic growth has come increased pressure for urban development and the problem is so serious that proposals have been made for Britain's first large new town since 1970 to soak up the growth. The government is generally against new towns, but may accept one near Cambridge if it can be shown there is no alternative.

Proposals to build a new town for 50,000 people outside Cambridge were unveiled in October 1998 and if it is approved it will be Britain's first new town since 1970, and the first to be privately funded since the second world war.

The scheme, promoted by Peter Dawe, a multi-millionaire internet entrepreneur, adds a fresh dimension to the debate about where to put 4.4m new households forecast for creation in England between 1991 and 2016. It coincides with proposals by Sir Peter Hall, a leading member of the government's urban taskforce, for three "social cities" of up to 250,000 people to be created 50 to 90 miles from London.

Last Updated ( Jul 19, 2007 at 01:19 PM )