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There was a fair attendance at the Theatre Royal last evening, when Mr S. Hurst Seager gave an interesting lecture on town-planning and the housing problem. The lecture was illustrated by lantern slides. The Mayor (Mr It. Galbraith), who presided, briefly introduced the lecturer. Mr Hurst Seager said that he would always have a warm corner in his heart for Ashburton, as it was this town, through its Borough Council, that first urged the adoption of his suggestion of a creat Memorial Road. In Ashburton they had a very wide-spread town. If it were more compact there would be a great saving in the cost of drainage, water supply, lighting, and streets. Far from beautification being the whole aim of town-planning, the lecturer said that economy and health were the basic motives. No doubt a great many of {hose present _ thought town-planning a very dry subject, hut he thought he would be able to convince them that it was very interesting. He would' show some of the attributes of a city beautiful, and in contrast some of the things which disfigured a city. Paris was the Queen City of Europe, and in Paris every, street over 60ft wide was tile-lined. They were working on the ancient plans and producing much boauty. '

Mr Hurst Seager contrasted the city of Wellington very strikingly, and pointed out the great improvements which could be effected if the capital of the Dominion were laid out on the same lines as the metropolis of France. Mr Sanger showed pictures of the ugliness of posters and huge business signs. What, he asked, could be more ugly than things of this kind ? Here we had an extremely beautiful country, and vast improvements could be made in many directions. Tho housing problem was one of the most acute difficulties they had to contend, with. He showed pictures of some of tlie workers' homes in the Dominion, and contrasted them with those of tho workers of Port Sunlight, a few miles from Liverpool. He had spent a very pleasant day inspecting the homes of the workers at Port Sunlight, and he had found them very comfortable. There they were built in blocks of three and four, and he favoured the same method for New Zealand, although he knew many people were against the block system. He referred to the workers' dwellings erected by the Government at Lake Coleridge. Here had been the opportiinity for a garden village set in magnificent scenery, but, instead; there was a, scattered collection of " shacks." The present Government had clone more in erecting workers' dwellings than any previous Government, but it had not worked along tho right lines. The Borough Council should acquire all the land it possibly could and use it for workers' dwellings. The speaker then touched upon the subject of children's playgrounds. There should be playgrounds scattered round the town, not all centred in the Domain. At Broken Hill a thousand miners had in one day converted ten bare acres into one of the finest playgrounds in Australasia.

On the subject of roads, Mr Seager gave illustrations of the relative power reouired to move a given load over different surfaces, and urged the advantages of unsurl'aced concrete over macadam. As 'a memorial to the soldiers the lecturer advocated a great memorial highway stretching from farthest north to farthest south; of' the Dominion. They did not want a repetition of the wretched things! that were put up after the Boer War. A hearty - vote of thanks, moved by the Mayor, was accorded Mr Seager. At the termination of his main .address Mr Hurst ..Seager . invited members of the Borougli, Cpuncil and others interested in town planning to remain behind. Mr Seager'..,then .spoke- upon some of the features of'the forthcoming conference and exliibiiii.o,n, iat. Wellington. He stated, ithat' he was particularly anxious to secure photographs of all the beauty spots in various towns. He felt sure Ashburton could seind alongan interesting collection out ofrthei'Dbri main alone, ail.d hoped the people would :.'dp.;so. He wjis also anxious to secure any early plans of the town, and those of later dates for the sake of comparison, In answer to a question Mr Hurst' Seager stated that he considered it would vastly improve Baring Square to I remove the iron fence and, if necessary, to substitute a, small kerb. Some

years ago there was great opposition in Christchurch to removing fences round reserves, but this opposition had been swept away, .and likewise the fences and all who had noticed the reserves could not help but note the beautiful effect. He urged upon the townspeople to form a Town Planning Organisation, and stated that they should not rely on the councillors to undertake this work, because, assuming they carried out their other duties satisfactorily, the councillors had plenty to do. When planting trees in the streets they should not imagine that any tree would do. It was necessary to procure properly prepared trees, of which there were several varieties, and one nursery in the North Island specialised in this direction.

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Bibliographic details

TOWN PLANNING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9581, 8 April 1919

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TOWN PLANNING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9581, 8 April 1919

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