Boom Cities

Architect Planners and the Politics of Radical Urban Renewal in 1960s Britain
Oxford University Press
  • erscheint ca. im August 2020
  • Buch
  • |
  • Softcover
  • |
  • 208 Seiten
978-0-19-886519-3 (ISBN)
Boom Cities is the first published history of the profound transformations of British city centres in the 1960s.

It has often been said that urban planners did more damage to Britain's cities than even the Luftwaffe had managed, and this study details the rise and fall of modernist urban planning, revealing its origins and the dissolution of the cross-party consensus, before the ideological smearing that has ever since characterized the high-rise towers, dizzying ring roads, and concrete precincts that were left behind.

The rebuilding of British city centres during the 1960s drastically affected the built form of urban Britain, including places ranging from traditional cathedral cities through to the decaying towns of the industrial revolution. Boom Cities uncovers both the planning philosophy, and the political, cultural, and legislative background that created the conditions for these processes to occur across the country.

Boom Cities reveals the role of architect-planners in these transformations. The volume also provides an unconventional account of the end of modernist approaches to the built environment, showing it from the perspective of planning and policy elites, rather than through the emergence of public opposition to planning.
  • Englisch
  • Oxford
  • |
  • Großbritannien
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
37 black and white figures/illustrations
  • Höhe: 216 mm
  • |
  • Breite: 138 mm
978-0-19-886519-3 (9780198865193)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Otto Saumarez Smith is an architectural and urban historian, and is an Assistant Professor in Art History at the University of Warwick.
In his meticulous new book Boom Cities, Otto Saumarez Smith wishes us to understand British architect-planners' activities in the 1960s and respect their objectives. * Will Self, Prospect Magazine * Otto Saumarez Smith's [has written a] detailed and engrossing book about the mid-20th-century boom in urban redevelopment ... That the book ends with a sense of "tragedy" and "intense disillusionment" is less of a judgement on the characters involved and more on the inherent penny-pinching - or money-misdirecting, perhaps - of the British political class when presented with the chance to create a dignifying, elevating, equalising public realm. The strength of
Boom Cities lies in its insistence that blaming individuals for the failures of a whole political and economic system is too easy. It makes us see the things that should have been different, and the ways in which they could still be. * Lynsey Hanley, New Statesman * Saumarez Smith demonstrates that the urban plans of the 1960s were shaped by forces that are still central to contemporary practice: the need to use urban renewal to reduce inequalities and yet serve an affluent citizenry; the requirement to balance the needs of a local community against the developer's profit motive; and the desire to insert new forms into the historic cityscape thoughtfully. The resonances with contemporary practice are clear throughout this book:
Boom Cities is therefore essential reading not just for historians of 20th century architecture and urbanism, but also for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the development of the contemporary planning profession. * Ewan Harrison, The RIBA Journal * This is a brilliantly researched and very readable book. * Michael Taylor, Context * Saumarez Smith is a very good writer - frequently insightful, often very funny. He has convincingly argued that the work and world of the architect-planner are valuable for understanding the complex of forces that transformed city centres in Britain in the 1960s. He has supported that argument through a careful and sympathetic reading of local government and private archives. * Planning Perspectives * hugely readable and fascinating * Helen Goodwin, Architecture Today * Saumarez Smith writes deftly and has a deep understanding of his subject * Elain Harwood, Literary Review * Boom Cities is much more than a book about buildings. It is instead a study about town planning, welfare and the politics of affluence, and hence central to the history of mid-20th century Britain. Boom Cities may be a slim volume but it is packed with insights which make it an essential reference point for the new urban social history that is rapidly-and excitingly-emerging. * Professor Simon Gunn, University of Leicester, Reviews in History * if you're interested in the motives that inspired the wholesale reshaping of our town and city centres in the Sixties, he has a tale worth telling ... Boom Cities is well-stocked with interesting and revealing quotes ... 4 stars * Michael Bird, The Telegraph * ingeniously researched, well-written and subtly argued study * David Kynaston, Times Literary Supplement *

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