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Great British Plans: Who Made Them and How They Worked

Ian Wray

  • Format: Book

  • Pages: 252

  • Publisher: Taylor and Francis

  • Date Published: Oct 2015

  • Stock Code: 86699

  • ISBN: 9780415711425

  • Binding: Paperback

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Description

Can the British plan? Sometimes it seems unlikely. Across the world we see grand designs and visionary projects: new airport terminals, nuclear power stations, high-speed railways, and glittering buildings. It all seems an unattainable goal on Britain’s small and crowded island; and yet perhaps this is too pessimistic. For the British have always planned, and much of what they have today is the result of past plans, successfully implemented.

Ranging widely, from London’s squares and the new city of Milton Keynes, to ‘High Speed One’, the motorways, and the secret first electronic computers, Ian Wray’s remarkable book puts successful infrastructure plans under the microscope. Who made these plans and what made them stick? How does this reflect the defining characteristics of British government? And what does that say about the individuals who drew them up and saw them through?

In so doing the book casts refreshing new light on how big decisions have actually been made, revealing the hidden sources of drive and initiative in British society, as seen through the lens of ‘plans past’. And it asks some searching questions about the mechanisms we might need for successful ‘plans future’, in Britain and elsewhere.

About the Author

Ian Wray

Ian Wray is a Visiting Professor in Geography and Planning and Visiting Fellow in the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice, University of Liverpool. He was Chief Planner, Northwest Development Agency, 2000-2010. He has written for The Architects' Journal, Management Today and The Guardian and is currently a trustee of the Town and Country Planning Association and of World Heritage UK, and a member of the general assembly of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

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