The County of London Plan, 1943: ‘this new world foreshadowed’

An interesting look at London’s past and what could have been its future…

Municipal Dreams

Last week we looked at creation and reception of the 1943 County of London Plan.  It was a reminder of a time when democratic politics wasn’t viewed with contempt but was understood as a form of collective expression and – for some (for very many in the 1940s) – as a means of making a better world.  That’s a language you hardly hear nowadays but maybe we should bring it back into fashion.

The language of JH Forshaw and Patrick Abercrombie in the Plan was generally more measured.  The tone is bureaucratic, almost technocratic and their overall approach is flagged in their first chapter, ‘Social Groupings and Major Use Zones’.   They saw the city as an agglomeration of zones with varying functions which had hitherto been inadequately separated or insensitively connected.

Coloured Plate 1: Social and Functional Analysis Coloured Plate 1: Social and Functional Analysis

In particular, they identified a ‘highly organised and inter-related system of…

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