Ground Control: Fear and happiness in the twenty-first-century city Paperback – 26 Jan 2012
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Anna Minton has done us a service with this book . . . compelling (The Sunday Times)
A sharp and urgent anaylsis of our changing towns and cities (Metro)
A timely and powerful study . . . revelatory (Guardian)
Compelling . . . raises important questions about the meaning of liberty in contemporary society and what we are prepared to defend today (Times)
'A sharp and urgent anaylsis of our changing towns and cities.'
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A brilliant breath of air, simply writing it all down. I have ordered a pile more of these books and will be giving them out to our planning department. Ground Control goes through the important factors in our lives and we should all get going to do something about it. Excellent.
I reported on the Paddington Basin development that Minton describes in my capacity of editor of the local community website. It was so hard to challenge the developers because they pushed up surrounding property prices (which is seen as a universal good). I also worked for a City law firm in Broadgate, which was the most depressing time of my professional life. I've revisited Canary Wharf in recent years, and it makes me nauseous.
The developers want to dominate the landscape and seal it off from dirt and undesirables. As Minton explains you can't create meaningful places when you seek to maximise their commercial efficiency, and prevent people indulging in other human pastimes like campaigning and protest. Hugh Pearman wrote about the changes in the Paddington Basin: `Big developers are urban Domestos.They kill 99 per cent of all known existing character.'
While property prices kept on rising, it was impossible to dissent. The urban regeneration professionals and the developers sat round congratulating themselves. I particularly applaud her analysis of the BIDS. Local communities are told that BIDS are fantastic schemes that will bring only good things. Minton points out that they were very controversial in the US, and they've been swallowed by the British without proper scrutiny of what they're all about. Security guards in the US went beating up the homeless. That's what happens when you say a place has only one purpose.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very relevant book this days, when urban regeneration is gentrifying and profoundly transforming the capitalPublished 3 months ago by cicoria
Excellent. Little wonder people have not much time for politicians who have sold off public land and assets to enable private profit without solving housing shortages.Published 13 months ago by jpm
Brilliant book - essential reading for those interested in public space.Published 16 months ago by Mrs M Furtado
Super interesting book. Highly recommended for Londoners.Published 18 months ago by Prof. F. W. A. R.
I feel the authors views are very one sided, if eyeopening regarding the ability for private landowners to inhibit freedom in public space. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Teresa Walsh