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A New town or planned community or planned city is a city, town, or community that was designed from scratch, and grew up more or less following the plan. Many of the world's capital cities are planned cities, notably Washington, DC in the United States, Brasilia in Brazil, Canberra in Australia, and New Delhi in India. In the early history of America, planned communities were quite common: Jamestowne, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Annapolis (as well as Washington, DC) are examples of this trend. Greenbelt, Maryland, which was built in the 1930s, was one of a series of planned communities built during that era. The Levittowns - in Long Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey - typified the planned communities of the 1950s and early 60s. The era of the modern New Town began in 1963 with the creation of Reston, Virginia, which was begun just a year before Columbia, Maryland.

The term is used in the United Kingdom, in the main, to refer to the towns developed after World War II under the New Towns Act of 1946. Following the war, a number of towns (eventually numbering 28) were designated as New Towns and were developed to house the large numbers of people who had lost homes during the War. The idea in the UK grew from the earlier attempts at a Garden City in Letchworth[?] and Welwyn[?] in Hertfordshire, England following on the ideas of Ebenezer Howard and Patrick Geddes[?].

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