The Rise and Fall of London’s Ringways, 1943-1973: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Rise and Fall of London’s Ringways, 1943-1973

1st Edition

By Michael Dnes


184 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367361570
pub: 2019-11-13
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Urban motorways are among the greatest – and least forgiven – legacies of post-war planning in Britain. Ringways explores the genesis, development and collapse of London’s controversial plans for nearly 500 miles of highways, to understand why such ambitious and unlamented programmes gained widespread support and triggered urban uproar. Combining a review of the wider intellectual climate with extensive archival research, Ringways asks how far the rise of the urban motorway can be attributed to urban contingency as opposed to far-seeing planners; how ideas of the environment changed as proposals were debated; and whether their fall was the work of popular revolt or expert regret.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Road to the Future

1. "The Monster That We Love": Civilising the Motor Car

2. "Slow and Tortuous": London Before the Ringways

3. Planning by Accident: Creating the Box

4. Climate Change: Defending the Ringways

5. The Road to Damascus: Changing Minds

Conclusion: The Road Not Taken

About the Author

Michael Dnes is a civil servant at the UK Department for Transport. He was responsible for the 2015 and 2020 road investment strategies, the institutional reform of the highways sector and the recreation of the National Roads Fund.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Urban History

This series showcases original and exciting new work in urban history. It publishes books that challenge existing assumptions about the history of cities, apply new theoretical frames to the urban past and open up new avenues of historical enquiry. The scope of the series is global, and it covers all time periods from the ancient to the modern worlds.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General