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Publication Detail
REVISITING PUBLIC SPACE IN POST-WAR SOCIAL HOUSING IN GREAT BRITAIN
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Sendra Fernandez P
  • Publisher:
    Servicio de Publicaciones. Universidad de Sevilla
  • Publication date:
    2013
  • Pagination:
    114, 131
  • Journal:
    Proyecto, progreso, arquitectura
  • Issue:
    9
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    2171-6897
  • Keywords:
    public space, slum clearance, neighbourhood, urban obsolescence, regeneration, London
  • Addresses:
    Universidad de Sevilla
    Seville, Spain
Abstract
This paper addresses the issue of the urban obsolescence of public space of social housing neighbourhoods built during the post-war period in Great Britain. Great Britain has been chosen because of the active role played by modern architects in the construction of the welfare state advocated by post-war governments, which involved building large areas of social housing. The aims of this paper are to understand the context in which these neighbourhoods were built as well as their evolution and the complexity of their obsolescence. To achieve these objectives, it first looks at the causes that prompted the slum clearance process, at its implementation during the post-war reconstruction and at the effects that this process has had on contemporary cities. Secondly, it is illustrated through a detailed analysis of a case study, Loughborough Estate in Brixton, London, looking at the initial conditions of the council estate when it was built, investigating its evolution over the past five decades and factors that may have contributed to the obsolescence of its public space and to its social problems. The paper concludes with a warning that a generalist critique of modern architecture does not solve the problems of such neighbourhoods, but a substantial intervention on the public space is needed to bring them to life. These interventions should focus on the spatial configuration of public space and its design and maintenance.
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