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The title of the blog is linked to the genesis of this book. I came into town planning and urban studies from a undergraduate degree in History.

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Way back when I'd wanted to be an architect, but couldn't do GCSE Art so couldn't then go onto apply to architecture courses. Doing my history degree I became very interested in urban history and modern history - particularly the agenda set by Peter Borsay's The English Urban Renaissance , Asa Brigg's classic Victorian Cities and post-war history.

These interest coalesced into a dissertation where I researched the comprehensive redevelopment of Bradford City Centre in the s and s, which famously led Bill Bryson to describe Bradford thus: Scores of wonderful buildings were swept away to make room for wide new roads and angular office buildings with painted plywood insets beneath each window.


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Nearly everything in the city suffers from the well intentioned but misguided meddling by planners. Given I had the research written up and ready, it was recieved well at a seminar at the University of Bradford two years ago, and there is renewed interest in Bradford City Centre due to " Wastefield ", the City Park one of the best urban spaces I have ever seen, ever in the World ever , and the campaign to save the Odeon , I thought it was an opportune moment to publish it as a book. I could peer into the lobby of Forster House and see the dated frieze on the wall of what was once the pride of Bradford city centre.

Bradford Metropolitan District Council and the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward, had agreed a deal with the Australian shopping centre developer to build a new shopping centre, with a new road layout, on the site leased to Hammersons. Then and saw a run on the Northern Rock Bank and the seizure of global credit markets in the wake of Lehman Brothers Bank. Proposals for Westfield Bradford were rapidly shelved and Bradford has been left with a large hole — colloquially known as Wastefield. In many respects this mirrors the story from to In the post war stop-go, Keynesian controlled economy, plans often came to fruition in the fevered heat of a boom which quickly had its steam taking out.

Plans were halted or scaled back. The unregulated boom from to was an even more dramatic example of this.

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Urban policy and practice: Labor omnia vincit

Bradford, like many former industrial towns and cities in the north of England, is now a rock-pool of unemployment, both unemployed labour and land. The long boom meant the tide of economic growth poured credit into the redevelopment of the City.


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  7. Now it has receded back in the long period of economic slump, it seems impossible to imagine this neap tide will ever get high enough to lead to a rejuvenation of Bradford City Centre. Returning to Bradford as a qualified town planner I can now also see how development trends since the late s have also limited the chances of a rejuvenation of the City Centre.

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