Patrick Abercrombie (Author of The Clyde Valley Regional Plan 1946)
Greater London Plan
The plan was directly related to the County of London Plan written by Abercrombie in , with contributions by John Henry Forshaw Following World War II , London was presented with an opportunity to amend the perceived failings of unplanned and haphazard development that had occurred as a result of rapid industrialisation in the nineteenth century. During the Second World War, the blitz had destroyed large urban areas throughout the entire county of London, but particularly the central core. Over 50, inner London homes were completely destroyed, while more than 2 million dwellings experienced some form of bomb damage. This presented the London County Council with a unique chance to plan and rebuild vacant tracts of the city on a scale not seen since the Great Fire of London.
Its title and a list of the city wards feature below the plan, with ward boundaries indicated by a dotted line. City wards were created in the Norman era with aldermen elected for life for the purpose of government. Ward 'beadles' were employed fulltime with responsibility for the "preservation of peace, supervision of trading, sanitation and local upkeep". Allen, Thomas Sr. Cristopher Wren's Plan for Rebuilding the City after the dreadfull Conflagration in 1 : This is an eighteenth-century copy of Sir Christopher Wren's plan for rebuilding London after the great fire destroyed seven-eighths of the city. This reduced plan seems to have been published a number of times. This latest edition has a textual explanation beneath the map.
Both were responses to the pertinent wartime urban problems London was facing such as overcrowding, poor housing quality, family poverty, disease and traffic congestion. One borne out of the ensuing post-war virtues of order and dignity. They were to form the pivot for the re-zoning of London following the devastating effects of the Blitz. Note also the bacterial presence of wharves, warehouses and railways in the dark grey. Incidentally, the Thames itself is an even darker shade of grey.
The County of London Plan , produced in , was the first of two ambitious documents for the post-war improvement of the capital. It and the subsequent Greater London Plan have become known collectively as the Abercrombie Plan, due to the central influence of Patrick Abercrombie , professor of town planning at the University of London. The film embedded below was produced for the war time ministry of information to explain the county plan. Their stilted, patrician delivery is from another age, yet some of these urban planners' and politicians' biggest preoccupations - notably with dirt, disorder and decency - and their near-utopian belief that a better, fairer city could be engineered on drawing boards and delivered from the top down finds an echo in much modern regeneration thinking. Watch and enjoy. It's just under 25 minutes long.