The pioneering architecture of Milton Keynes is to be held up as a shining vision to town planners all over Europe at a prestigious summit.
The city should be considered a perfect example of how modern Britain should work rather than a “symbol of urban ugliness,” according to top architect Sam Jacob.
Mr Jacob is due to represent the UK at the Venice Architecture Biennale which takes place next month.
This week he spoke out in the national press about the lack of affordable housing and need for towns to be practical rather than beautiful.
And he hailed Milton Keynes as “one of the most exciting ideas in the British landscape”.
He added: “Of course we’d love to have very high quality, beautiful cities but it’s understanding how the city works which is the fundamental thing and making sure there are affordable places for people to live.”
Mr Jacob is calling for a new down-to-earth approach, led by a specialist government minister of social planning, to build more garden cities.
He said: “Britain should be proud of our new towns.
“The creation of places like Milton Keynes, Harlow, Cumbernauld and Basildon represent Britain’s leading role in modern-day town planning.
Milton Keynes Council leader Andrew Geary said: “It’s encouraging to hear Milton Keynes will be spoken about so highly on an international stage.
“I’m not sure about the lack of beauty bit though – but we’ll take the compliment anyway!”