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Urban Renaissance: The Meaning, Management and Manipulation of Place, 1945-2002.

By Rebecca May Madgin


The transition from deindustrial to post industrial city from the 1970s exposed how cities developed regeneration strategies as their traditional industrial base experienced terminal contraction. These strategies to re-make urban places positioned at their core an improvement of the built environment either by retaining and adapting or demolishing and replacing historic buildings. Decisions to re-use or demolish revealed the contemporary valorisations of the past as they mediated the extent to which the reinvention of the city embraced or denied the cumulative memories of the city. Unravelling these decisions revealed the process of urban change by exposing the management of urban regeneration, the actors and agencies involved, their motives, constraints and failings and their ability to access funding. How these actors valued, perceived, and subsequently received the cityscape was revealed by their decisions whether or not to incorporate the historic environment in their vision for the city. Moreover, how public and private agencies such as local authorities, government quangos, and entrepreneurs manipulated the existing capital stock to attract people and investment into the inner cities was a vital component of urban regeneration. Four stages of re-making places: recognising place, managing urban change, seducing urban users, and manipulating the historic environment that each exposed the contemporary valuations of the past were identified and were explored through an examination of two British and one French urban centre. By these means, and using these examples, the research located the practice of restoration and re-use in the context of place-making and value judgements to question the extent to which there was a contemporary place for urban history

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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