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Jigsaw citiesBig places, small spaces$
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Anne Power

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346599

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346599.001.0001

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Building the New Jerusalem – vision and reality

Building the New Jerusalem – vision and reality

(p.55) Four Building the New Jerusalem – vision and reality
Jigsaw cities

Anne Power

John Houghton

Policy Press

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

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