Building the New Jerusalem – vision and reality

Anne Power and John Houghton

in Jigsaw cities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9781861346599
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302636 | DOI:
Building the New Jerusalem – vision and reality

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This chapter looks at why Britain failed to build a New Jerusalem after the Second World War, using the blunt tools of the bulldozer and high-rise building in green fields. It also explores the legacy of garden cities in the New Towns, Green Belts, and council estates following the Second World War. It notes that governments of all political persuasions have used their housing policies to encapsulate a much broader philosophical approach to the state of cities, and in 1918 and 1945 new housing was the reward for victory in war, a collective national effort. It further notes that the politics of mass housing became so dominant after the wars because people relied on councils to build for the masses and councils are political bodies. It explains that it made housing a stop-go, government spending spree, a quick vote-catcher and steering wheel rather that the undercarriage of urban development.

Keywords: Britain; high-rise building; Second World War; garden cities; New Towns; Green Belts; council estates; mass housing; urban development

Chapter.  10057 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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