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Welwyn Garden City
Authors: Frederic J. Osborn & Arnold Whittick
Published: 1977 (third edition)
jointly by Leonard Hill (London) and Routledge & Kegan Paul (Boston).
Format: Hardback 10" by 7½" with 505 pages
CONTENTS (1977 edition)
CONTENTS (1963 edition)
|Authors' Note||Authors' Note|
|Introduction by Lewis Mumford||Introduction by Lewis Mumford|
|Part 1||I||New Towns in Modern Times|
|1||New Towns in Modern Times||II||The Functions and Failings of Towns|
|2||The Functions and Failings of Towns||III||Some Data on Town Growth|
|3||The Experimental New Towns||IV||The Experimental New Towns|
|4||Town Growth and Governmental Intervention||V||Town Growth and Governmental Intervention|
|5||Evolution of the New Towns Policy||VI||Evolution of the New Towns Policy|
|6||Legislation for New Towns||VII||Legislation for New Towns|
|7||The Finance of New Towns||VIII||The Finance of New Towns|
|8||The Town and Country Pattern||IX||The Town and Country Pattern|
|9||Antagonisms to New Towns||X||Antagonisms to New Towns|
|10||New Towns in Regional Plans||XI||Achievement, Emulation and Prognostic|
|11||Achievement, Challenge and Prognostic||XII||Stevenage|
|12||International Influence of the New Towns Movement||XIII||Crawley|
|13||The Human Environment: The People's Awakening||XIV||Hemel Hempstead|
|Part 2||New Towns in the London Region||XVI||Newton Ayciffe|
|16||Hemel Hempstead||XIX||Welwyn Garden City|
|18||Welwyn Garden City||XXI||Glenrothes|
|22||Introductory - Three Later 'South-East Region' Towns||XXV||Corby|
|New Towns in the North-East||XXIX||Dawley|
|26||Newton Aycliffe||XXX||The Aesthetic Aspect of Urban Environment in New Towns|
|New Towns in the North-West|
|29||Skelmersdale||I||Some New Town Statistics|
|30||Runcorn||II||Housing in the New Towns to December 1962|
|31||Warrington||III||Progress of New Towns to December 1962|
|32||Central Lancashire||IV||New Towns: Balance Sheet Figures at 31 March 1962|
|New Towns in the Midlands||V||Manufacturing Industry in New Towns to December 1962|
|33||Corby||VI||Offices in New Towns|
|35||Redditch||New Towns Committee Conclusions|
|New Towns in the Wales||Selected Bibliography|
|37||Newtown and Mid-Wales|
|New Towns in Scotland|
|43||Changes in Planning New Towns|
|1||Selected Data on the New Towns|
|2||Some 'New Towns' planned since 1900|
This book is concerned primarily with the foundation and development of British new towns inspired by the Garden City idea originated at the end of the 19th century. Since the Second World War many new towns, influenced by the British lead, have been founded in other countries and a list of some of these is given in Appendix 2.
In 1977 an International New Towns Association was established with substantial initial grants from the American, British and French governments and a permanent office at 7 Grafton Street, London W1. This will act as a world centre for the exchange of experience and information between bodies interested in new towns. Membership is open to governments, local authorities, private and public corporations, professional persons and other individuals.
Our purpose in this work is to give a broad account of the new towns of Great Britain, of the circumstances and lines of thought from which they arose, and an evaluation of their significance for the future of urban development. Short descriptions follow of the twenty-eight designated under the New Towns Acts up to 1977, with a selection of plans and photographs sufficient to indicate their form and character.
We make no claim to have produced either a full study of the individual towns or a definitive history of the movement that led to them; such a programme would be impossible in a single volume. Some of the towns have already found, and others will find, their own historians, for whom a wealth of data exists in the official reports of the development corporations, local records, newspaper files and the memories of inhabitants. And before long, we hope, the history of the new towns movement will be written by a scholar with time and endowments adequate to the task.
Our contribution is that of contemporary observers who have taken part in the advocacy of the new towns concept and have been caught up in the controversies that have raged around it - one of us for over half a century. That should absolve us from any charge of inhuman detachment. We are more likely to be accused of lack of objectivity by critics who have a bias differing from ours. Certainly we make value judgements, as anyone must in discussing social affairs, but when we do so we try to be conscious of the fact. In taking sides on some contentious issues we make every effort to be fair to opposing views. Our promise, to ourselves and the reader, is 'to be candid but not impartial'.
Though the subject matter, arrangement and illustration of this book are our joint choice, its parts have been separately written. Chapters 1 to 13 are the work of F. J. Osborn, and Chapters 14 to 43 of Arnold Whittick. Each has considered comments by the other, but no complete assimilation of views has been attempted. The divergences we have discovered are few, and none is important, except perhaps in our aesthetic appraisals, and even there we find different theoretical reasons for liking the same things.
For this third edition the text has been further revised. A new chapter (13) records recent developments in British planning thought and practice and the world-wide rise of interest in the quality of the human environment. It discusses also the alarm expressed by the authorities of London and other big cities about the decline in their industries and employment, due, in fact, much more to spontaneous than planned dispersal, which remains necessary and needs to be accompanied by city renewal on standards of housing, work-places and open space comparable with those of the new towns.
As we remind the authorities in Chapter 13, central city renewal and planned dispersal are not antagonistic but complementary. Satisfactory renewal on human standards necessitates adequate space in relation to population. The continued congestion of inner-city areas makes this impossible without a further measure of dispersal.
In Part II chapters have been added on new towns started in Britain since 1968, and descriptions of the earlier towns extended to include later developments. The material available has been so voluminous that it has been necessary to make a restrictive selection. Preference has been given to the more outstanding, such as very original planning of residential areas and of town centres. The order of the sections is the same in each chapter: reasons for designation; description and assessment of the outline plan; progress of planning and building; descriptions of residential areas; neighbourhood and town centres; industrial zones and appraisal of social aspects.
New plans and photographs have been introduced, but again it has been necessary with so much material to be rigidly selective, and preference has been given to plans rather than to photographs. Many that appeared in the earlier editions have been omitted from this third edition and preference given to developments from 1969 to 1977.
The statistical tables have been updated to the end of 1976, and additions made to the bibliography of a few of the innumerable recent publications of informative value or controversial interest, but the list is inevitably selective.
The information we give is as up to date as possible, but since
the book went to press in mid-1977 there have inevitably been changes
of which we have been unable to take account.
Frederic J. Osborn