Policy Press

Shelter is not enough

Transforming multi-storey housing

By Graham Towers


Mar 29, 2000

Page count

272 pages




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
Shelter is not enough

Estates of multi-storey housing present some of the most intractable problems for urban policy. Many attempts to deal with these problems have either failed or presented poor value for money.

Shelter is not enough is an up-to-date evaluation of the issues. It traces the development of multi-storey housing in Britain from its early beginnings, to the period from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s when most of the contemporary legacy of estates was built. The problems in use are examined as are the responses of the authorities faced with mounting technical and social difficulties. Drawing on an analysis of past practice, a 'model framework' is defined which can help to create successful approaches for the regeneration of multi-storey housing.

From the experience of the development of multi-storey housing in Britain, its problems and attempted solutions, implications are drawn for public policy, and a strategic approach is outlined which can reform the estates and reintegrate them into the mainstream urban environment. Finally, the British experience is placed in a broader context - the parallel problems surrounding multi-storey estates in Europe, and the contribution transformed multi-storey estates might make in creating more sustainable cities in the millennium.

This book provides valuable information for all those involved in urban regeneration - academics and students of housing, architecture and urban studies; development officers, designers and others working in the practice of estate regeneration.

"With an extensive bibliography, the book is an invaluable overview of the subject, accessible enough for non-housing professionals to be serialised in the 'Guardian'." Housing

"... the best available synthesis of what we know with certainty and what uncertainties still exist ... provocative ." Urban Studies

"... this work should prove invaluable to any team of professionals and residents alike who are approaching a new project of this type." Building Design

"... makes an original contribution to an important area of housing policy requiring continuing attention. It combines a useful historical perspective on the contentious issue of multi-storey living in Britain with a detailed examination of public sector motivations and subsequent problems to arise." Professor Michael Carley, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Graham Towers is an Architect and Town Planner.

Introduction; Forming the multi-storey legacy; Politics, economics and housing form; Social stigma and community action; Redeeming the estates; Facets of regeneration; Building a model framework; Prospects for transformation; Ending the estate syndrome; On broader horizons.

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