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Building a Grid Square

This map shows the location of Two Mile Ash - it has employment estates to the north and residential estates to the south. It is connected to them via footpaths/cycleways and shares a local centre with Great Holm.


Decide what you want in your grid square - housing? What type? A school? Shops? A playground? Employment opportunities?How much land will you provide for these facilities? And how will you arrange them in the space you have available?Two Mile Ash was to provide for mostly rental housing, with primary and middle school provision, allotments and an activity centre. A large portion was given over to a golf course.

Land Use

How will people get into and around your grid square? What kind of road layout do you want - straight and simple, or curvy and complicated?The planning department of the Milton Keynes Development Corporation laid out internal spine roads for a grid square, depending on housing density and facilities.These roads provided access into and through the grid square, and carried services like drainage and electricity.


How will people move around your grid square on foot and by bicycle?Does your grid square need to connect to a citywide network?How will pedestrians, bicycles and traffic safely interact?

Pedestrians andCyclists

Two of the goals for Milton Keynes were: balance and variety, and an attractive city. How will your housing help to achieve these goals?Can people buy the housing in your grid square? Can they rent it? Or a mixture of both? How much housing should there be? Should residents have lots of space, or only a little?


Another goal for Milton Keynes was opportunity and freedom of choice - what opportunities will your grid square provide for its residents?What kind of schools? What type of shops? Any medical facilities, or are they in a nearby grid square?How do these facilities match with the type of housing you've decided on?


Green spaces are important in the design of Milton Keynes. What sort will you provide in your grid square?Trees and shrubs screen the borders of estates from the grid roads. They shelter the houses from the noise and traffic. Will you do the same?What species will you use?


We hope you enjoyed this showcase about designing a grid square. For more exhibitions and online resources, or if you're interested in researching the city further, visit the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre website.

Thank You!