2: A brief history of planning in the UK

In this chapter, human organisation of the built and natural environment is outlined, from ancient times up until the present day. Approaches to planning from around the world are used to aid understanding of where we are today, and help to highlight changes in the urban form of towns and cities in the UK. The main focus then turns to planning in the ‘modern’ post-1947 era up to the present day, highlighting the principal influences and issues. Planning in the ‘public interest’ is considered in the context of changing market forces and political direction. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the tensions inherent within the planning system currently operating in the UK.

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