The New Towns (2018-2019)

The New Towns were planned and built in England after the Second World War to relocate populations who lost their homes. In 1946 the New Towns Act set up New Town Development Corporations which were responsible for the management, design and development of New Towns. A combination of idealism and pragmatism drove their master plans. They aimed at creating a welcoming space, with walkable distances between homes, work, shops, cultural offerings and green spaces. Construction had to progress quickly and needed to stay affordable. The resulting designs promoted single family housing and village-like neighbourhoods. The planners made few provisions for mass car ownership.
The series starts with scenes from traditional city centres. While the original architecture is mostly preserved here, contemporary chains and smaller independent shops feature widely throughout. In the traditional residential neighbourhoods contemporary elements are rarer. The houses show the marks of their history. The photographs then transition to the more recent residential developments and finally over to newly-built city centres.
Over seven decades the economic climate fluctuated, political ideas changed and new social aspirations superseded the dreams of the previous generations. The contemporary New Towns show evidence of previous building styles and ideas of community.
Today, the New Towns preserve some of their initial character, but their identity is shifting in favour of more and more national and international elements.

Published with the support of the CNA Award – Supporting creation and publishing in photography, Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA), Luxembourg.
ÉditĂ© avec le soutien de la Bourse CNA – Aide Ă  la crĂ©ation et Ă  la diffusion en photographie, Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA), Luxembourg.

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