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Title: 'In spite of planning' : reconstructing Britain's blitzed cities 1945-1954
Author: Flinn, Catherine
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2011
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This work looks at the effects of contemporary legislation and the work of government ministries and committees on the reconstruction of Britain's built environment after the Second World War. Though there is a wide range of scholarly work in this field generally, very little of it synthesizes more than one discipline to elucidate a broader explanation for what was built in the 1940s and 50s, as well as how and why. The Labour government struggled to manage Britain's hard hit economy in the postwar era, dealing with both the Balance of Payments problem as well as issues in shortages of materials and labour, affecting housing and other building. At the same time the Attlee government set out to fulfil the ambitious social reforms they had promoted in war-time. How they managed - or mismanaged - the physical rebuilding of Britain is a story often told only through the history of planners and planning. The complete story involves the economic situation as well as the government's planning machinery, both economic and physical. This work will also go beyond the national issues to investigate cities and the local authorities who struggled with financial and physical issues of building. The thesis uncovers the work of the Investment Programmes Committee, a Cabinet sub-committee that tremendously impacted blitzed city reconstruction. It also examines the Ministry of Town and Country Planning and the implementation of planning legislation as well as relationships with local authorities. It then studies three cities - Hull, Exeter and Liverpool - for a look into the actual processes of rebuilding and redeveloping after bomb damage. Finally, it investigates the developers and the architecture as well as responses to the reconstruction then and now. It concludes that actors have as much or more impact than policy decisions, nationally and locally, and that the realities of rebuilding were hugely complex, noting that the plans were rarely translated into reality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available