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Chris Perkins and Martin Dodge

Visual representations have often played a crucial role in imagining future urban forms. In the aftermath of the Second World War, a noteworthy new genre of urban plan was published in Britain, most deploying seductively optimistic illustrations of ways forward not only for the reconstruction of bomb-damaged towns and cities but also for places left largely undamaged. Visual representations have often played a crucial role in imagining future urban forms. In the aftermath of the Second World War, a noteworthy new genre of urban plan was published in Britain, most deploying seductively optimistic illustrations of ways forward not only for the reconstruction of bomb-damaged towns and cities but also for places left largely undamaged. This paper assesses the contribution of visual elements in this,process with a detailed case study of the maps, statistical charts, architectural drawings and photographs enrolled into the 1945 City of Manchester Plan. The cultural production of these visual representations is evaluated. Our analysis interprets the form, symbology and active work of different imagery in the process of reimagining Manchester, but also assesses the role of these images as markers of a particular moment in the cultural economy of the city. This analysis is carried out in relation to the ethos of the Plan as a whole.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
James Greenhalgh

Plan. Fantasies of urban futures 55 1.2  Proposed design of the new civic centre in Manchester by A. Sherwood Edwards, from Nicholas’ City of Manchester Plan. 56 Reconstructing modernity 1.3  Illustration by Harvey of Queen’s Gardens area of Hull from Edwin Lutyens and Patrick Abercrombie’s Plan for Kingston upon Hull. 1.4  Drawing by Harvey of the city centre area of Hull from Lutyens and Abercrombie’s Plan for Kingston upon Hull. Fantasies of urban futures 57 The Plans are also almost completely lacking in detail about how the projects they outline are to

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

Reconstructing modernity assesses the character of approaches to rebuilding British cities during the decades after the Second World War. It explores the strategies of spatial governance that sought to restructure society and looks at the cast of characters who shaped these processes. It challenges traditional views of urban modernism as moderate and humanist, shedding new light on the importance of the immediate post-war for the trajectory of urban renewal in the twentieth century. The book shows how local corporations and town planners in Manchester and Hull attempted to create order and functionality through the remaking of their decrepit Victorian cities. It looks at the motivations of national and local governments in the post-war rebuilding process and explores why and how they attempted the schemes they did. What emerges is a picture of local corporations, planners and city engineers as radical reshapers of the urban environment, not through the production of grand examples of architectural modernism, but in mundane attempts to zone cities, produce greener housing estates, control advertising or regulate air quality. Their ambition to control and shape the space of their cities was an attempt to produce urban environments that might be both more orderly and functional, but also held the potential to shape society.

James Greenhalgh

that although the Wythenshawe Estate had been in existence for a considerable number of years, the Corporation have provided very little, apart from houses.38 Rowland Nicholas’ City of Manchester Plan also acknowledged that: we should recognise that the [Wythenshawe] estate reflects the general trends in housing development since 1919 and suffers accordingly from … a somewhat anaemic social atmosphere – a lack of robust community life – attributable in part to its newness, but more particularly to the absence of good communal facilities.39 The Plan thus attempted

in Reconstructing modernity
James Greenhalgh

. Assessments of opposition to post-war local corporation schemes have shown how attempts to realise the Plans were frustrated by a combination of interventionist bureaucracy, the legacy of wartime austerity, increased centralisation, Treasury financial controls, the influence of landowners and persistent early post-war shortages of building materials.12 There is, in the extensive analyses already committed to print, very The functioning metropolis 81 2.1  Zoning proposals for Manchester city centre from Rowland Nicholas’ City of Manchester Plan. little ­substantive

in Reconstructing modernity
The Manchester and Salford Methodist Mission, 1910–60
Angela Connelly

as the Corporation of Manchester’s most audacious experiment: a new town based upon the principles of the Garden City, located at Wythenshawe.90 Rowland Nicholas’s City of Manchester Plan, published in 1945, largely disparaged the unplanned and unregulated Victorian city and recommended comprehensive redevelopment.91 This continued slum clearance but also provided motorways, car parking and new modern developments. Manchester’s Victorian environment, with its connotations of dirt, overcrowding and unplanned developments, would be erased. Nicholas believed that

in Culture in Manchester
Abstract only
James Greenhalgh

schemes were part of a learning process that had profound and lasting effects for the project of urban renewal in the decades that followed. Notes  1 Phil Jones, ‘Historical continuity and post-1945 urban redevelopment: the example of Lee Bank, Birmingham, UK’, Planning Perspectives, 19:4 (2004), 365–89.  2 Chris Perkins and Martin Dodge, ‘Mapping the imagined future: the roles of visual representation in the 1945 City of Manchester Plan’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 89:1 (2012), 247–76. 200 Reconstructing modernity  3 Nicholas Bullock, Building the Post

in Reconstructing modernity
Municipal culture in post-war Manchester
Peter Shapely

Development Plan, City of Manchester Plan, in which Ottiwell Lodge claimed that the city now had an opportunity to improve its ‘standing as a regional centre’.63 The council was to play a pivotal role, but throughout the 1950s it was obvious that redevelopment of the city centre needed private capital. Together, the public and private sectors were responsible in the 1960s for a bewildering number of new projects. The amount of planning applications presented to the council was staggering. Schemes included the expansion of the University Precinct (which included the new

in People, places and identities
James Greenhalgh

(Oxford, 1998), pp. 5–16. 50 GMCRO/GB127/M740/2/8/3/53, New Estates Federation of Manchester and District meeting, c.26 February 1935, p. 3. 51 GMCRO/GB127/CM/HC, Letter to the Chair of the HC from Irene Salisbury, 8 March 1943, vol. 25, pp. 37–8. 52 Clapson, Invincible Green Suburbs, p. 170. 53 Rowland Nicholas, City of Manchester Plan (Norwich, 1945), p. 113. 54 The trend was not exclusive to the post-war plans and can be found in evidence throughout the twentieth century, stemming from ideas founded in the garden city movement. See: Ebenezer Howard, Garden

in Reconstructing modernity

damaged; the question was how to replace them. The dean and chapter wrote to the Town Clerk in March 1942, urging that ‘Manchester Cathedral is a building of such outstanding historical and architectural interest that the consideration of its surroundings should exercise an important influence in the city plan’, and noting that Coventry Cathedral was already being made central to the planned rebuilding of Coventry. 70 Their prayers seemed to be answered in the 1945 City of Manchester Plan by the City Surveyor

in Manchester Cathedral