Developing new communities: the progress of three private sector new settlements 1960-1993

2014-10-07T15:03:19Z (GMT) by Christopher R. Owen
In the light of increasing interest in new settlements through the 1980s and early 1990s, this thesis examines the development of three existing private sector new settlements. The study examines the development of three case study sites, East Goscote in Leicestershire, Bar Hill in Cambridgeshire and Martlesham Heath in Suffolk. It assesses what new light the development of such sites can shed upon existing understandings of the development of place and community, and the changing nature of urban form in the context of the modem to post-modem transition noted by geographers over the past thirty years. It also aims to place new settlements in a wider historical context, examining the theoretical assumptions they inherit from earlier attempts to create new places, notably the garden cities movement, and the state new towns programme. The case studies examine the origins of each of the three sites, and follow their physical development to the present day, analysing what events, personalities and assumptions shaped their final form. They address the extent to which the development of each site was a response to local contingencies, or to wider forces, and draw out both the similarities and the differences between each site. The study also looks at the way in which community organisations have developed in each of the three sites, and to what extent each community has developed a sense of its own identity and cohesion. In doing so, it determines the extent to which concepts of place and community are relevant in the context of new settlements, and in the context of contemporary urban forms. The thesis illustrates that these three new settlements were primarily local, contingent responses, but also indicates that there are common patterns to their growth. The study also shows the considerable similarities new settlements share with early garden cities, and the extent to which they were also affected by the state new towns programme. In addition, it illustrates that notions of place identity and community are shaped by a small number of individuals, and concludes that such concepts remain valid, though subject to constant change and renegotiation.

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CC BY-NC-ND 4.0