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Planned City Growth

Nature volume 150, page 87 (18 July 1942) | Download Citation



THE extent to which Mr. F. J. Osborn's admirable statement of the main essentials of planning, so far as they affect the ordinary citizen, originally written in 1£18, is still valid to-day is a tribute to his powers of analysis and exposition (New Towns After the War. By F. J. Osborn. Revised edition. Pp. 72 + 8 plates. (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd.,1942. 4s. 6d. net.) It is also at least in part a reflection upon the general failure to apply those principles or even to learn from the bitter experience of the decade after the War of 1914-18. On both counts the 1942 edition deserves a warm welcome, and the new matter included, not ablythe illustration of the way in which Welwyn Garden City exemplifies the original thesis or formula, and the brief but well-chosen book list, enhance its value. The book is a concise re-statement of the argument for building new industrial towns, surrounded by country belts, as part of the reconstruction programme. Stressing the necessity for a national plan and criticizing the absence of policy which permitted the expansion of a few great cities at the expense of the countryside and of the smaller towns of Britain, with grave effects on the lives of town-dwellers and the efficiency of industry, it outlines broadly a policy commensurate with the needs of the time, the soundness of which is emphasized by the fulfilment of many of the author's predictions as to the trend of unplanned city-growth.

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