In 2003 the Labour Government published its ambitious Sustainable Communities Plan. It promised to bring about a 'step change' in the English planning system and a new emphasis on the construction of more balanced, cohesive, and competitive places.
This book uses historical and contemporary materials to document the ways in which policy-makers, in different eras, have sought to use state powers and regulations to create better, more balanced, and sustainable communities and citizens. It charts the changes that have take place in community-building policy frameworks, place imaginations, and core spatial policy initiatives in the UK since 1945. In so doing, it examines the tensions that have emerged within spatial policy over the types of places that should be created and the forms of mobility and fixity required to create them. It also shows that there are significant lessons that can be learnt from the experiences of the past. These can be used to inform contemporary policy debates over issues such as migration, uneven development, key worker housing, and sustainability.
The book will be an important text for students and researchers in geography, urban studies, planning, and modern social history. It will also be of interest to practitioners working in central and local government, voluntary organisations, community groups, and those involved in the planning and design of sustainable communities.
...the book is a valuable text for students and researchers in geography, urban studies and planning. Drawing on a wide range of empirical sources, Raco successfully utilizes governmentality theory in his critical analysis of Britain's postwar spatial policies, and in doing so transcends a simple historical account of the policy process to engage with wider debates about contemporary governance practices." Kim McKee, University of Glasgow
"Overall, Mike Raco has produced a very impressive study of post-war labour0related planning policies. Its sound empirical base carries many lessons for contemporary policies." Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Vol 23:3, 2008
"This is an interesting and important book which powerfully shows the value
of spatialising social policy and introducing a social policy perspective to debates within geography and planning. In this sense it is path-breaking." Allan Cochrane, Professor of Public Policy, The Open University, UK
Mike Raco is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at King's College London.
Contents: Part one: Conceptualising spatial policy: Introduction changing times, changing places; Conceptualising sustainable communities: place-making and Labour market-building; Part two: Post-war spatial policy, 1945-1979: Reconstruction, regional policy and Labour market-building: inter-regional Labour transfer policies in the post-war period; Building balanced Labour markets in the post-war new towns; Economic modernisation and post-war emigration and immigration; Part three: Post-war spatial policy, 1979-2006: The reconstruction of regional policy and the re-making of the competitive region; Sustainable community building under New Labour; Managed migration, sustainable community building, and international Labour movements; Spatial policy, sustainable communities and Labour market-building, towards a new research agenda.