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The development of residential urban renewal policies in England: planning for modernization in the 1960s

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The article is concerned with national policy for urban renewal in England during a critical phase in the 1960s when the housing programme was expanded under successive Conservative and Labour governments, reaching a peak through the targets set in the National Plan (1965). Urban renewal, as a programme going beyond slum clearance, was an essential theme in this expansion. Two critical aspects are considered. First, urban renewal involved a widening of the scope of planned intervention, and with it a wider range of remedies- improvement as well as replacement. There were tensions between a more comprehensive approach and movement into 'twilight area renewal' as 'the next step'. Second, the theme of urban renewal introduced the idea of 'partnership' between public and private agencies, which was closely connected with the resource problems for such wider modernization. The difficulties explored help to explain why urban renewal did not become in practice the big theme that was envisaged. Nonetheless, policy formation in the period did also have important effects on the action that was to follow from 1969.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/026654399364328

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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