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The modern historic city: evolving ideas in mid-20th-century Britain

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Pendlebury



It is generally considered that ideas in Britain about historic cities, and their appropriate management, changed radically between the period of the Second World War and its aftermath and the end of the 1960s, in reaction to comprehensive redevelopment and with the rise of the conservation movement. Plans produced in the early part of this period have been characterized as representing 'clean-sweep' planning. By the end of the 1960s, it is held, very different ideas prevailed. One of the key articulations cited to represent this shift is the four studies for the historic cities of Bath, Chester, Chichester and York, commissioned to consider conservation issues both in those cities, and in terms of the wider lessons that could be applied elsewhere. This paper analyses the approaches used in conceptualizing and planning for two of these four historic cities, Bath and York, with reference to both the 1960s studies and their 1940s precursors. It concludes that on the whole the 1960s plans for Bath represent a continuation of approach from the 1940s rather than a radical sea change, with the emphasis still firmly on conceptualizing the historic city highly selectively and on proposing high degrees of intervention. Changes are more evident in the plan for York, which heralds a more inclusive and embracing conservation of place. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pendlebury J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Urban Design

Year: 2005

Volume: 10

Issue: 2

Pages: 253-273

Print publication date: 01/06/2005

ISSN (print): 1357 4809

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

DOI: 10.1080/13574800500087152


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