How Cities Work. An Introduction by Barrie Needham

By Barrie Needham

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The British convention is to say that a household demands housing, and that housing is supplied as dwellings. It is necessary to understand precisely what those terms mean. A household is a group of people who live together. Thus, the Census 1971 (p. ) Not everyone lives in households: a few people live in "non-private establishments", such as hotels, colleges, prisons. People and Housing 53 Dwellings are usually defined in terms of structurally separate accommodation. For the great majority of dwellings that presents no difficulties; detached, semi-detached, and terraced houses, and flats in purpose-built blocks are easily recognisable as separate structures.

People living in a city drive into the countryside which is nearest to them: that is, they travel outwards from the centre, remaining in their "sector" of the city region. When people set out on one of these trips they often have no destination in mind: they are just going for a drive in the country. When they pull off the road for a stop, most people do not do very much, and do not move very far from the car: the countryside is treated as a garden at the end of a 30 minute car journey. We can add some more survey evidence.

In 1967 the South East Economic Planning Council (1967, p. 14) changed that, implicitly, into a higher proportion of unplanned overspill. By 1970, the South East Joint Planning Team (1970, chap. 10) would make no proposals for how the overspill should be thus divided. Nor, in another region, would another regional planning team by 1971 (West Midlands Regional Study, 1971, chap. 5). G R E E N BELTS The picture of the city region which we have been using so far (see Fig. 1) has ignored the green belts which encircle eighteen of our major cities.

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