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Thread: Housing Mistakes

  1. #1
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Default Housing Mistakes

    We've had so many mistakes in the past. We were going this way that way. Piggeries, Gardens, Fishing Villages... maybe some of the mistakes weren't even mistakes. Chaos. Everyone scared to do anything or at least anything better.

    Sir Lancelot Keay (Gerard Gardens et al) thought he was doing people a favour (in retrospect maybe he was) but he didn’t dream of asking anyone.

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    I’m told to look at the very recent new stuff in Kensington and the like. Any thoughts on living in those?

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    As you are no doubt aware Peter, and the short film documentary 'Homes for the workers' says possibly more than I ever could, the buildings of the 'Gardens' were a vast social improvement on what they replaced. Certain essentials (we've now come to expect as normal, even demand) were hot and cold running water inside the house, gas, electricity at the flick of a switch, indoor toilets and bath, back verandas with planters and a central children's play area. I don't expect he thought the need to ask anybody as they were following an Eastern European tried and tested method of economical housing for the masses.

    Of course they were of their time and things progress though it was as you say on your blog, under investment by subsequent councils that led to their premature demise with some still surviving and doing alright in their various new guises.

    ---------- Post added at 03:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:18 PM ----------

    High rise, yes another utopian concept but alas with a lot of flaws and a lot of floors.

    The Cornish fishing village aka The Radcliffe estate was a right mess. Lasting only a decade, a true disaster and criminal rat run.

    Even other 60s and 70s pebble dash estates such as the Grizedale and Easby were not well planned, not if you were an emergency vehicle driver anyway. They replaced old parallel streets and are themselves being replaced within a couple of generations.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    "...if Liverpool can get into top gear again there is no limit to the city's potential. The scale and resilience of the buildings and people is amazing it is a world city, far more so than London and Manchester. It doesn't feel like anywhere else in Lancashire: comparisons always end up overseas Dublin, or Boston, or Hamburg."
    Ian Nairn, Britain's Changing Towns, 1967

    Ian did go on and mentioned to forget any modern developments in Liverpool.

    The problem with Liverpool is that it became a gigantic Council House estate. The private sector should have been allowed in to build owner/occupier homes. Private residential was excluded from the city centre, yet Council blocks were erected at the end of Byrom St.

    The middle classes moved to the outskirts where they could by their own homes and commute into the city by the electric urban commuter rail network. This left the city a working class enclave.

    Rapid-transit Commuter Rail, with its radial lines from the city centre, enabled people from the outer suburbs, and surrounding small towns, of cities to access the jobs in the city centre. In the specific case of Liverpool, this contributed to the decline of the inner-cities, as people moved to greener, and cleaner, places to live.

    In the case of commuter-rail, and large through roads, as opposed to a meshed metro, there was severe negative affects as commuter rail contributed to inner-city blight.

    The authorities that allowed the construction were unaware at the time. OK, the outer reaches of cities were supposed to be drawn into the city. I doubt they were expecting the city to be drawn out. In Liverpool's case The electrification of commuter-rail lines in the early 1900s drew people away from the inner-cities. The new electric trains were very fast and clean. At the same time large boulevards were built radiating out from the city and a comprehensive tram system was built with trams in the central reservation - John Lennon lived on one of the boulevards. Trams could get people out of the centre pretty fast as well, but not as far, or as fast, as commuter-rail. The clean running, electric, comprehensive tram network closed down in 1957 for some inexplicable reason. The opening of the under-river Mersey road tunnel in the early 1930s, added again to the decline of the inner-city districts as the middle classes moved out, with the poor working class remaining.

    The Liverpool inner-cities were a mixture of working and middles classes. Whole areas of near 200 year old Georgian houses were demolished. OK, some working class houses needed bulldozing for sure, but the people who lived in the inner-cities were disenfranchised. The Georgian houses still are being demolished singularly, as absent landowners allow them to rot. Seeing the success in the USA and Hong Kong, the city was denied to implement Land Valuation Taxation.

    Commuter-Rail sock life out of the inner-cities, but then came Thatcher/Reagan demolishing industry and outsourcing manufacturing to China to compound the problem.

    Rail overall creates economic growth but sometimes shifts wealth from one area to another. Thought out properly, rail does overall create economic growth with no negative effect on any district. Implemented incorrectly rail can have a negative affect on parts of a community. That was the case with Liverpool and also many north American cities:

    1. The outer parts prospered while the inner-cities slumped.
    2. Visitors see the now ugly inner-city districts easily as they circle the city centre.
    3. The city then gets a negative image from outsiders,
    4. The city image suffers
    5. Overall Investment tails off
    6. The city declines


    That is all too famiiar.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
    Rapid-transit rail: Everton, Liverpool & Arena - CLICK

    Save Royal Iris - Sign Petition

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    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    [INDENT][i]"...if Liverpool can get into top gear again there is no limit to the city's potential...
    I think you'd have to live in a cave to not know that the inner city in Liverpool, like many other 'doughnut' cities has emptied out to the suburbs and the new towns.

    Perhaps you have some thoughts on living in some of the new housing that's gone up in the inner wards in the last decade or indeed very recently?

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    I think you'd have to live in a cave to not know that the inner city in Liverpool, like many other 'doughnut' cities has emptied out to the suburbs and the new towns.

    Perhaps you have some thoughts on living in some of the new housing that's gone up in the inner wards in the last decade or indeed very recently?
    The point is getting them into the inner cities and getting those districts vibrant again. The Echo announced a few days ago HMG is giving money for areas affected by riots. They hope to make Lodge Lane like Lark Lane. If they get an underground station in Lodge Lane and some of the middle class move in I would say that is possible. Wines bars in Lodge Lane? mmmm As now? Nope.

    Liverpool is not a doughnut, it is semi circular. It may be doughnut if Birkenhead is taken into account.

    Most the speculative flats in the centre are like rabbit hutches inside. Many are poorly fitted out with quality lacking.

    But it is step in the right direction. If they expect middle class outsiders to make roots in Liverpool, which the city needs, they had better up the size and quality.

    Read my blog:
    http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/blog.php?265-Waterways
    Commuter-Rail and Inner-City decline
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
    Rapid-transit rail: Everton, Liverpool & Arena - CLICK

    Save Royal Iris - Sign Petition

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