Communities and Industry


    THE broadsheet "Location of Employment" issued by Political and Economic Planning is a timely contribution to the discussion of the fundamental questions in town and country planning on which early decisions must now be taken by the Government. The broadsheet attempts first to analyse the employment needs which are relevant to physical planning, and then considers how far those needs could be met on the scale of a community comprising not more than about 60,000 people. The conclusion is reached that a satisfactory variety of industry and occupation can usually only be provided for a group of communities, and not, as town-planners have often suggested, for each community separately. The important concept is not so much that of the community as that of the employment orbit, or the area in which any point can be reached within reasonable daily travelling time by the members of the community. For some communities it may be far better to improve communications with other places than to try to bring industry within the borders of the community. It should be possible for the majority of wage-earners to find work fairly near to their homes; many jobs in secondary and tertiary industries can be located in the community itself, and the broadsheet points out that the employment exchanges, by the use of judicious and flexible placing methods, can help in this. Secondly, the time taken up in travelling to work can be cut down by improving transport and by careful layout and correlation of the several communities.

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