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The period after 1945 witnessed a revolution in urban planning, with local and national governments taking radical and innovative approaches to mass housing following the ravages of the second world war. As well as attempting to provide new homes following the devastation of five years of total war, there was also a determination to raise the living standards of the inner city working classes living in the archaic terraces and tenements of the proceeding age. The post war city was to be bright and modern, designed as much by sociologists as architects, but in the ideological rush to create modern housing projects, the people who were to inhabit them were often left out of the decision making processes. This work considers how myth, collective memory and history interact in the construction of place based identities in the city, and how such identities become crucial stakes in determining the future of particular areas, neighbourhoods and districts. By analysing examples of public protest against urban planing planning projects, the author looks at how dominant discourses promoted by urban elites have been challenged by groups with little experience of participating in urban governance. It is argued that the relationship between words and places the naming and categorising of places is crucial to the understanding of these conflicts.
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