Town Planning Review

'Re-assessing' London's squares: the development of preservation policy 1880–1931

Town Planning Review (2011), 82, (6), 615–638.

Abstract

London's squares were reassessed by two incompatible interests in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first viewed the squares as financial assets and development land; the second considered them as social benefits and urban open spaces, leading to substantial public interventions: the London Squares and Enclosures (Preservation) Act 1906 and the London Squares Preservation Act 1931. This article explores the developing policy process by examining the roles of and interactions between private interests, social reformers, governmental agencies and the wider public. It concludes that social reformers took an intermediate position, working to transform the squares' cultural and social values to the wider public, to government and to Parliament.

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FIRTH, JOSEPH (1876), Municipal London; London Government as it is, London, Longmans, Green & Co. Municipal London; London Government as it is Google Scholar

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LCC (LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL) (1970), Survey of London 36, London, The Athlone Press. Google Scholar

LONDON SOCIETY, THE (1927), London Squares and How to Save Them, London, The London Society. Google Scholar

MALCHOW, H. L. (1985), 'Public gardens and social action in late Victorian London', Victorian Studies, 29, 97–124. Public gardens and social action in late Victorian London Victorian Studies 29 97 124 Google Scholar

MEATH, EARL OF (1890), Report to the Parks and Open Spaces Committee of the LCC: Public Parks of America, London, London County Council. Google Scholar

MEATH, EARL OF (1923), Memories of Nineteenth Century, London, John Murray. Google Scholar

MELLER, HELEN (1976), Leisure and the Changing City, 1870–1914, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul. Google Scholar

MPGA (METROPOLITAN PUBLIC GARDENS ASSOCIATION) (1887), Fifth Annual Report, London, MPGA. Google Scholar

OLSEN, DONALD (1964), Town Planning in London, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press. Town Planning in London Google Scholar

OLSEN, DONALD (1979), The Growth of Victorian London, London, Batsford. The Growth of Victorian London Google Scholar

ORDNANCE SURVEY OFFICE (1869–82), Ordnance Survey of London and Its Environs, Southampton, Ordnance Survey Office. Google Scholar

RANLETT, JOHN (1983), '''Checking Nature's Desecration": late-Victorian Environmental Organisation', Victorian Studies, 26, 197–222. ''Checking Nature's Desecration": late-Victorian Environmental Organisation Victorian Studies 26 197 222 Google Scholar

RASMUSSEN, STEEN EILER (1948), London: The Unique City (2nd rev. edn with an Introduction by James Bone), London, Jonathan Cape. Google Scholar

RCLS (ROYAL COMMISSION ON LONDON SQUARES) (1928), Royal Commission on London Squares (Londonderry Commission): Minutes and Papers, (Cmd 3196), London, HMSO, held by the National Archives, Kew, PRO HLG 10/3/10. Google Scholar

SIMPSON, WILLIAM (1927a), 'Open spaces for public health', New Health, May, 2. Google Scholar

SIMPSON, WILLIAM (1927b), 'Open spaces for public health', New Health, November, 2. Google Scholar

WEINREB, BEN and HIBBERT, CHRISTOPHER (eds) (1983), The London Encyclopaedia, London, Papermac. The London Encyclopaedia Google Scholar

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Sakai, Aya