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Hostages to history? The surprising survival of critical comments about British planning and planners c. 1942–1955

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Unravelling processes of decision-making is central to most planning history. While archives can helpfully supplement published plans and even oral histories, many archive files [such as those in the UK's National Archives (NA)] are fragmentary and lifeless. This short note explores the surprising survival in the NA of some very acerbic and personal commentaries, demonstrating a lack of regard of the civil servants of the Ministry of Town and Country Planning for planning and planners, including some of the best-known planners of the period. This sheds new light on decision-making and professional relationships.

Keywords: UK post-war reconstruction planning; archives; decision-making processes

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02665433.2011.575561

Affiliations: School of Property, Construction and Planning,Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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