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Milton Keynes in British Culture

Imagining England

The new town of Milton Keynes was designated in 1967 with a bold, flexible social vision to impose "no fixed conception of how people ought to live." Despite this progressive social vision, and its low density, flexible, green urban design, the town has been consistently represented in British media, political rhetoric and popular culture negatively. Les mer
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Om boka

The new town of Milton Keynes was designated in 1967 with a bold, flexible social vision to impose "no fixed conception of how people ought to live." Despite this progressive social vision, and its low density, flexible, green urban design, the town has been consistently represented in British media, political rhetoric and popular culture negatively. as a fundamentally sterile, paternalistic, concrete imposition on the landscape, as a "joke", and even as "Los Angeles in Buckinghamshire". How did these meanings develop at such odds from residents' and planners' experiences? Why have these meanings proved so resilient?





Milton Keynes in British Culture traces the representations of Milton Keynes in British national media, political rhetoric and popular culture in detail from 1967 to 1992, demonstrating how the town's founding principles came to be understood as symbolic of the worst excesses of a postwar state planning system which was falling from favour. Combining approaches from urban planning history, cultural history and cultural studies, political economy and heritage studies, the book maps the ways in which Milton Keynes' newness formed an existential challenge to ideals of English landscapes as receptacles of tradition and closed, fixed national identities. Far from being a marginal, "foreign" and atypical town, the book demonstrates how the changing political fortunes of state urban planned spaces were a key site of conflict around ideas of how the British state should function, how its landscapes should look, and who they should be for.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

List of figures


Abbreviations


Acknowledgements


Introduction


Milton Keynes in British history


Decline, status, and postwar landscapes


Chapter summaries


Chapter 1: Landscape value in modern Britain


Modernity and landscape value


From Howard to new towns: mourning urban change


World War II: Technocracy ascendant


Declinism, postcolonial melancholia, and postwar planning


"White Heat" and reforming the reconstruction movement


North Bucks New City


Chapter 2: The Plan for Milton Keynes, 1967-1972


Initial responses, 1967


MKDC marketing and the Interim Report, 1967-1969


The Plan for Milton Keynes, 1970


The Plan in national media, 1970-1971


(Relative) radio silence, 1971-1972


Chapter 3: The post-tower-block city? 1972-1975


The Heath Government and the ideology of public spending, 1970-1974


Milton Keynes, the post-tower-block city? 1972-1975


Crisis and urban planning, 1973-1975


Chapter 4: Mirroring England, mirroring decline, 1976-1978


The IMF crisis and signification spirals, 1976


Milton Keynes and the crisis of over-absorption


"The Facts"


Dissenting voices: Jack Trevor Story


"A Mirror of England," 1978


Chapter 5: The Concrete Cows, 1978-1979


Concrete community art in Milton Keynes


The Electric Whale


MKDC responses: "Our nation needs a new shop window"


Chapter 6: "You've never seen anything like it": the aspirational turn, 1979-1986


The Shopping Building


Thatcher comes to Milton Keynes


The Point, Energy World, and novel landscapes


Media and popular cultural responses


Chapter 7: Milton Keynes and "the middle," c. 1980-1989


The shifting centre in British politics


Thatcherite spatial politics: the middle against the radical fringe


"Best of both worlds?"


Postwar landscapes in 1980s Britain


Chapter 8: The wind-up: c.1986-1992


In on the joke?


Approaching the 'wind up'


Basildon Man and the meanings of new towns


Perpetuating the myths? Image and Reality


Conclusion


Bibliography

Om forfatteren

Lauren Piko is a historian specialising in the cultural history of post-1945 landscapes and national identity. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, where she lectures and tutors in urban history and theory, and modern British, Australian and world histories. Her current research explores the imperia