Town Planning Review

Exhibiting the city: planning ideas and public involvement in wartime and early post-war Britain

Town Planning Review (2012), 83, (6), 647–668.

Abstract

Engaging the wider public in plan-making is a major concern of contemporary planning, although most authors date this to key texts of the late 1960s. This article reviews the scale and nature of earlier attempts to do so at a crucial stage in the development of British planning thought and practice - in 1940s Britain, when planning was responding to the crisis and opportunity of wartime damage. It explores public involvement principally through the exhibitions associated with the large number of post-war reconstruction plans. The then-dominant expert-driven model of plan-making overruled the views expressed by the public, and exhibition visitors were simply seen as consumers of the propaganda of planning. The new model of planning and plans following the 1947 Act moved away from exhibitions and consultation to become even more expert-driven and technocentric.

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Author details

Larkham, Peter

Lilley, Keith