The green belt was part of the 1940s package of planning measures that were intended to protect farmland and to stop the spread of towns and cities. Since then, the largest cities have seen decline in their economic base while rural economy has prospered. More people are seeking to live in small towns and villages, but the same people also want to protect the environment and the countryside landscape; everyone would like a Green Belt around their home. This report concludes that Green Belts fail to meet today's social and economic needs and that the concept is in urgent need of revision. But can alternatives to the Green Belt be found which are politically acceptable? The report urges the development of a new strategic plan that is both less rigid towards new development and more sensitive to the need to protect and enhance the quality of the environment than the present Green Belts policy. The conclusions will provoke wide debate amongst all those interested in the future of cities and the countryside.