town planning

town planning
   In retrospect, the 1960s and 1970s seem marked by poor town planning, based on tower blocks, corrupt politics, aggressive property development and bypasses. The 1980s, by contrast, were characterized by a renewed interest in urbanism, in conservation and in historical styles. Buildings are now more likely to be built into a context rather than designed individually or after massive demolition (often of historically important buildings) has made way for their arrival. These new ‘infill’ buildings of course vary in quality and attractiveness, and many suffer from imitation rather than inspiration, missing the value of contrast in a rush to conformity. However, there are excellent examples of blending and grafting, such as Harper Mackay’s Gaemester Kenyon in Southwark, London. Large new sites have also provided great opportunities, notably at Spitalfields Market (Leon Krier), Canary Wharf (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill), Horselydown Square, Southwark (Wickham Associates) and Richmond riverside (Erith and Terry).
   See also: city redevelopment
   Further reading
    Glancey, J. (1989) New British Architecture, London: Thames & Hudson.
   PETER CHILDS

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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