People and Cities (1963)

From ArchiveWiki
Date1963
Owned bySteven
TypePublications (see all artefacts)

Context

In the 1960s and 1970s, the British Road Federation were a pseudo-think tank pushing for further investment in the road network. They were surprisingly heavyweight, with Ernest Marples, then Minister of Transport giving the opening speech.

This is a report on the December 1963 conference of the same name held in London, and is a pretty heavy volume given that it goes into huge detail, being a record of every speaker. Whilst not being packed full of fun facts and information, it is still a valuable record into how the industry thought at the time, and looked both at British town and cities, and also European examples such as Paris and Dusseldorf.

Oh, and my copy is signed by Harold Wilson. So there.

Contents of Note

  • Lots of discussions around New Towns
  • An entire chapter about the Birmingham Inner Ring Road, here of course still called "Ringway" - but with zero discussion around the A38(M) Aston Expressway, which does not appear on the provided map. Hilariously for those of us looking at this from the benefit of hindsight, there's also a lot of clapping themselves on the back from the Borough Engineers of Croydon about their planned Inner Ring Road. That went well.
  • Lots of photos of European grade-separated junctions and tower blocks
  • Few mentions of roads not widely known from elsewhere, such as the Watford Urban Motorway