City and Society: The Keynesian New Town and the Resurrection of Capitalism

Tahl Kaminer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article will explain the demise of the post-war new towns not by depicting it as a product of misguided and erroneous planning, but as an outcome of a substantial transformation of society, namely, the passage from an industrial to a post-industrial society and the dissipation of Keynesian economics in the 1970s. In essence, the new towns succeeded in satisfying many of the demands posed to planning and architecture by the society of the 1950s; the demands for spontaneity, vitality and creativity which disqualified the new towns came to the fore only later, expressing the social transformation underway. The new towns were not merely an expression of Keynesian economics and industrial society, but presented a process which internalised society’s organisational principle on the level of the individual inhabitant and were therefore responsible for social integration. The informal, “uncontrolled” 19th-century city presented the precise opposite, an internalisation of neoclassical capitalism and the freedom associated with it. The resuscitation of neoclassical capitalism in the last decades in the form of monetarism and neoliberalism may have brought about the demise of the new town, but does not indicate a return to the industrial 19th-century city; the parallel passage into a post-industrial, late-capitalist society has given birth to urban sprawl as the new urban condition. Taking into account these diverse models, the paper will conclude by examining the possibilities open to the 21st century-city within a changing society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Towns for the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationThe Planned versus the Unplanned City
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherSun Publishers
Pages38-43
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789085068051
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Urban Design
  • Planning
  • Political Economy

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