Report: Wolfson Economics Prize 2014

By: Shelter, in collaboration with PRP  Published: August 2014


Shelter, in collaboration with PRP and with advice from KPMG, Laing O'Rourke and Legal & General, was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize. The 2014 Prize questions was "how would you deliver a new garden city which is visionary, economically viable and popular".

Summary

The Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 has offered a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how the new homes we desperately need can be built. The Prize question cuts to the heart of why we’ve failed to build enough new homes, and it rightly demands of entrants: 

  • An ambitious vision for a garden city that is modern, environmentally sustainable and which provides homes affordable to those on a range of incomes.
  • A robust and credible private financing model, which would be a serious proposition to real investors.
  • Proof that local popular support can be achieved and an intelligent strategy to realise it.

 To respond, we have taken a bold and robust approach: selecting a real site and therefore being in a position to show that our model is deliverable in practice, not just in theory. Our proposal is for Stoke Harbour Garden City on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent: a city of 30,000 to 40,000 people, which can be built in 15 years and could grow beyond then to a city of 100,000 or more. What makes our proposition unique is that it has been rigorously strengthened by the views of those who matter most: the people who would actually live there.