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Visual Culture 23 August 2013

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University historian Dr Mark Clapson currently features in The Economist publication and on their website.

Dr Clapson was interviewed for a feature, Britain’s New Jerusalem: Paradise Lost, on postwar Britain's new towns and the housing crisis, which is published this month.

Dr Clapson is a regular contributor to The Economist as a specialist in the field of new towns, and has written books on suburbia and British new towns, most notably Milton Keynes.

“The British postwar new towns programme was among the largest of all programmes of planned new communities in the 20th century,” says Dr Clapson.

“Today, at a time of housing shortage and pressure on urban land, the Town and Country Planning Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute are calling for a new generation of eco-friendly new towns. More than that, we can learn from those earlier postwar new towns, about what went right and what went wrong. Hence the Department of Communities and Local Government report, Transferable Lessons from New Towns (2006), in which my book on Milton Keynes is used, is part of the growing recent interest in the successes and problems of the new towns.”

Dr Clapson has recently returned from Australia, where he was invited by the Housing Industry Association (Australia) to speak to their 'Building Better Cities' summit on the current housing crisis in the UK.

He also talks about postwar London in a documentary, Suburban Steps to Rockland: The Story of the Ealing Club, which is currently in production.

Titles by Dr Mark Clapson:

Suburban Century: Social Change and Urban Growth in England and the USA. (Berg, 2003)

A Social History of Milton Keynes: Middle England/Edge City (Taylor and Francis, 2004)

The Blitz and its Legacy (Ashgate, 2013, co-edited with Professor Peter Larkham)

'Introduction' to the republished Plan for Milton Keynes (Routledge, 2013)

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