NEW TOWN UTOPIA: Panel Discussion

Thursday 24th May, 2018

From Utopian dreams to concrete realities, New Town Utopia charts the challenging, funny, and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, Essex. Designed and built in the late 1940s, Basildon was created with the hope and aspiration for a happier, healthier post-war Britain, but 70 years on, what has become of the new town dream? Featuring Jim Broadbent as the voice of Lewis Silkin MP, and guided by the artists, musicians and poets of Basildon, New Town Utopia shows the citizens of Basildon, in the face of austerity, adversity and personal battles, using their creative spirit to improve their community through art, poetry, music… and some rather angry puppets.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director Christopher Ian Smith, Noël James (Director, Milton Keynes Discovery Centre and AHRC New Towns Heritage research network), Michael Edwards (Bartlett School of Planning, UCL), and chaired by Clare Melhuish (Director, UCL Urban Laboratory).