Britain is full of small market, towns that were built after the second World War (WWII). Cities that were rebuilt because of the terrible condition after the World War. Cities such as London and Bristol just to name a few. Different countries chose to build their cities with housing incorporated into their city centers while Britain chose to deviate from that style and make a decision to experiment with Ebenezer Howard’s city plan which involved separating housing from cars. This would mean that persons would not need their cars to commute to get their necessities but instead walk or use buses. An example of this design can be seen in Abercrombie’s vision for London. With this reshaping of cities, there was much criticism for it. The reason being is because of the limited materials, lack of proper ventilations for some of these buildings that were built such as Runcorn Terraced housing and could possibly be because of the experimentation of these ideas as they involved persons accommodating these buildings and persons tend to become irate when they feel like a lab rat. Some of these projects ended not being completed such as Cumbernauld. In this reflection, we’ll take a look on why these new towns have had so much bad press and whether or not they deserved it and worth given a chance and how it has shaped the present day.
After the second world war, there began to be an effort to rebuild, and salvage different cities, and towns. These new towns were being designated in different areas which was followed after the Garden City movement, which I feel is where the ideas and basis on these new towns came about. As said before these phases for the construction of new towns began to alleviate housing shortages following the second World War and to add additional growth to other towns.Towns such as Cumbernauld, East Killbride, Livingston and much more.
Architects and Planners in charged of designing these towns tried to incorporate architectural modernism and urban planning to accomplish what they set forward and to renew a concentration of people in the city in order to provide a better basis for community. To create an urbane community.
But with that being there projected intentions for these new towns, they received a lot of scrutiny for them and garnered a lot of bad press and I can understand why after reading “The making of a megastructure: architectural modernism, town planning and Cumbernauld's Central Area, 1955-75”. The idea was to create a town, having a city center in the middle of it and the housing on the around it, and that way it would be easier to persons to go to the city center where pharmacies, grocery stores, Malls would be for them to get what they need without having to use a car but rather use a bus as transportation. But in some cases, these towns failed in achieving this plan.
For example ,The Golden Eagle Hotel, which had proven unprofitable, was demolished when constructional faults in the paneling appeared. The penthouse deck, which was converted from flats to offices, were demolished after major flaws developed in one of the massive concrete supporting beams. All of this was really expensive to be built as well so its only obvious to think about the tax that citizens were paying because of it. This is why there was so much bad press towards these new towns, because of their unsuccessfulness in achieving the intended goal and for the amount of money spent in trying to realize the design.
As quoted in the article previously mentions “Their wish to have the freedom to implement their creativity rather than build in more conventional ways created problems, as did their naïve faith in technology to solve problems”. After its all said and done, this is a piece of history and learning experience that architects and planners should take in when it comes to planning and designing towns. Realizing the faults, the mistakes and ways to learn from.
• Gold, John R.(2006) 'The making of a megastructure: architectural modernism, town planning and Cumbernauld's Central Area, 1955-75', Planning Perspectives, 21: 2, 109 — 131