Boom Cities

Boom Cities was launched tonight: a very good send-off.

Peter Mandler talked about changes in intellectual fashion and how when, in the late 1990s, he had wanted to work on the history of post-war town planning, nobody had been remotely interested, whereas now it is a hot topic: presumably partly generational, now that brutalism has lost its stigma.

Otto SS quoted Mark Girouard’s preface to English Towns which was magnificently derogatory about the effect of new telephone exchanges on old town centres; and summarised two key findings of the book – that it was not all the fault of architects, but of a multitude of politicians, civil servants, town planners and other assorted utopians, and that fashion in town planning changed not because of the actions of a few lone conservationists, but because those who had advocated radical town planning realised that they had got it wrong (and many of them were themselves ardent members of the William Morris Society).

Now, you have to buy the book, published by OUP for £65.

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