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Title: 'Give the people homes!' : Britain's multi-storey housing drive
Author: Glendinning, Miles
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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This account explains why, how, and at whose instigation, large numbers of multi-storey blocks (6 or more storeys) were built by municipalities across the whole of Britain within a few years, chiefly in the 1960s. The thesis begins with an introductory chapter which sets out the author's own values, outlines the method of investigation and presentation of evidence, and briefly surveys other recent accounts of this subject. These have mostly claimed that the decisions by municipal councillors to build high flats were substantially determined by outside influences, such as professional groups or building contractors. It is made clear that this thesis will contest this historical consensus that municipal decision makers were little more than puppets. The main text pursues this argument in a step-by-step manner through chronological and thematic discussion. Part I describes how high flats, previously a vehicle for avant-garde architectural design, were forcefully grasped in the 1950s by powerful municipal housing interests as a weapon to defend their building and patronage apparatus against a threat posed by a national, professional grouping: town and country planners, set on encouraging mass population 'overspill' from the municipalities. Part I evaluates the power and motivation of the municipal 'housing crusaders' against that of other groupings, such as Central Government or contractors: it is found that these councillors and supporting officers were the only group with both power and motive to force through the sharp policy change to multi-storey building. Part II tackles, indirectly, the question of how an unorchestrated, cumulative movement, springing not from external pressure and coordination but from the cities themselves, could have spread right across the country and produced such seemingly uniform results.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available