Town Planning Review

Planning the historic city: Reconstruction plans in the United Kingdom in the 1940s

Town Planning Review (2003), 74, (4), 371–393.

Abstract

Reconstruction planning in the United Kingdom in the 1940s has been subject to significant scholarly attention in recent years. Many towns and cities were caught up in a wider enthusiasm for town planning. The approach proposed was usually radical, involving a major restructuring of urban fabric to achieve modern functionality. This paper addresses the reconstruction planning of historic cities and is based on a survey of 12 such plans. It discusses how planners sought to reconcile a belief in modern comprehensive planning and the perceived necessity to create 'modern places' with their appreciation of the existing qualities of historic cities. Finally, the paper briefly considers such concepts as character and townscape that have had enduring significance.

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Pendlebury, John