Urban Eden has no political or social bias. Its members come from every walk of life, every creed, colour and ethnicity, every age group, every political persuasion and none. What holds us together? It’s simple, really; it’s a belief in the original master plan for Milton Keynes and a desire to see it maintained, protected and if necessary, sustainably extended into the expansion areas.
Urban Edenites have seen how well the original master plan has worked here. We’ve seen how our quality of life has consistently been higher than elsewhere; for instance in the overcrowded, user-unfriendly towns and cities we left behind in order to make a new life for ourselves and our families here.
We’ve smiled wryly as others have sought to knock us; making jokes about concrete cattle and roundabouts. We smiled with them because we knew that they could laugh as much as they liked, we had a city to be proud of, a city that delivered its bounty gently, subtly and not all at once; a city where the houses are often hard to spot, hidden as they are from the grid roads by trees; a city where children and grannies are safe from cars as they walk on the Redways to school, the playground or the shops; a city where you can drive, legally and safely, anywhere in ten or fifteen minutes; a city where every local area has its own shops as well as its linear parks – its own green lungs; a city where you can ride your horse for miles and never see a car; or where you can relax with a fishing-float bobbing in the canal, one of our many lakes or the rivers Great Ouse and Ouzel and feel a million miles from civilization; a city where you are still in the heart of the countryside while you are in the heart of the town. An urban Eden.
And we’ve seen that faith and belief vindicated as the master plan has been successfully copied in part or in whole all over the World. We’ve seen planners from every continent, except Antarctica, visit Milton Keynes and study our linear parks, our wide boulevards, our grid system, our trees and our Redways. They saw that it was good and they’ve gone home to recreate our paradise there, in steamy jungle or northern plain.
Now we are betrayed. We are enraged. We see dark, ignorant, avaricious forces with an eye on a fast buck and with no passion, no vision and no belief trying to destroy it, stitch by stitch, tree by tree, road by road. But they have misjudged Milton Keynes. They took our placid acceptance of the ribbing as a weakness. They thought we were the ignorant overflows from slum clearances lucky to be anywhere; peasants without a voice, too slow, too ignorant, yes even too content, to realise what was happening until it was too late.
They were very nearly right. We nearly let it happen. They nearly won. But now we have a voice; and that voice is Urban Eden and the mutterings of the discontent are becoming a murmur and soon that murmur will become a roar and then they will realise that Urban Eden will never let their plans happen. Never. Love Milton Keynes, Love Urban Eden.