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The Containment of Urban England

Peter Hall
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 140, No. 3 (Oct., 1974), pp. 386-408
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/1796533
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1796533
Page Count: 23
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The Containment of Urban England
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Abstract

This paper summarizes some main conclusions of the book The containment of urban England (2 vols, Allen and Unwin 1973) by the author and others. Volume I focuses on patterns of urban growth in England since the Second World War: urban areas (defined in terms of the American concept of the Metropolitan Area) have tended to decentralized population and, more tardily, employment; these processes seem to have taken place earlier in the larger areas. Physically, the urban areas have been contained; losses of rural land to urban land have been restricted in quantity and compact in form. The effect of containment has, however, varied from one part of the most heavily urbanized area of England (Megalopolis England) to another. Volume II focuses on the objectives, operations and impacts of the planning system, which has operated as one actor-together with developers, industrialists and others-in a complex pattern of interaction. The main impacts of the planning system-physical containment, separation of residence from work, and rising land and property values-are in important respects perverse and certainly unintended by the planners; while paradoxically, the effects on the distribution of real income appear often to have been regressive.

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