The functioning metropolis
in Reconstructing modernity
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This chapter examines the strategies employed by the local governments of Manchester and Hull to govern the space of their cities in the immediate post-war period by examining policies and projects that sought to control the built environment. The techniques of spatial governance local governments deployed ranged from zoning large areas, to prohibiting certain types of business, display or activity and included control of land, buildings and even the air. The chapter argues that in the immediate post-war period local corporations attempted to expand their ability to control their cities in a holistic sense through the application and expansion of national planning legislation. Their aim was the assertion of a long-term, rational approach to the physical development of their cities, but their means were often mundane or small-scale: control of fun-fairs, the regulation of air or advertising as well as the siting of shops were all part of corporations holistic view of the functional city. These attempts were contested by the agencies of the national state, commercial elites and the inhabitants of the cities, illustrating the deeply contested character of modernity in the post-war.

Reconstructing modernity

Space, power and governance in mid-twentieth century British cities

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