Revisioning and Rebuilding Britain’s War-Damaged Cities

Larkham, Peter J. and Adams, David (2022) Revisioning and Rebuilding Britain’s War-Damaged Cities. Urban Planning. ISSN 2183-7635

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Abstract

This paper presents an overview of Second World War bomb damage to British towns and cities, and a systematic evaluation of the relationship between damage, revisioning and replanning, and actual reconstruction in a sample of cities—Bath, Birmingham and Hull. Two were severely affected by aerial bombing as port/industrial targets, the third for propaganda purposes as a historical city. Two had extensive plans produced by eminent consultants (both involving Patrick Abercrombie) but the city managers of the third did not support “big plans”. Birmingham, without a specific plan, rebuilt extensively and relatively quickly. Hull’s plan was disliked locally, and virtually vanished. Bath repaired rather than rebuilt. These contrasting experiences have shaped the contemporary city via subsequent generations of replanning (not all of which was implemented) and, in Birmingham’s case, the demolition of major reconstruction investments after relatively short lifespans. The paper demonstrates the difficulty of conceptualising a generic approach to post-catastrophe reconstruction and the problems of such large-scale change over a short period for the longer-term effective functioning of the city.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v8i1.6102
Dates:
DateEvent
20 October 2022Accepted
19 December 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bath; Birmingham; Hull; post-war replanning; rebuilding; reconstruction; UK; wartime bomb damage
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-01 - architecture
CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-04 - planning (urban, rural and regional)
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment > Resilient Environments
Depositing User: Peter Larkham
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 10:25
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2022 10:25
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13671

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