Back to the City: Urbanism, Density and Housing 1976-2016

A two day conference at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow G3 6RQ, Thursday 5th May-Friday 6th May 2016

On 12 May 1976, Secretary of State for Scotland Bruce Millan announced the cancellation of the plans to expand the village of Stonehouse outside Glasgow into a New Town of 40,000 inhabitants, and the redirection of the corresponding funds to the Glasgow Eastern Area Renewal (GEAR). After three decades, the era of enhanced greenfield developments outside British cities was finally drawing to an end, and policy was increasingly focusing on the renewal of the inner city as a place of residence.

The Glasgow experience was by no means unique. Although, in reality, suburbanisation was continuing virtually unchecked, from the 1970s onwards national and municipal policies in many European countries increasingly promoted living in the inner city. The International Building Exhibition, or IBA, in West Berlin (1979-1987), the regeneration of Rotterdam’s nineteenth-century neighbourhoods (begun 1973), the redevelopments of the London Docklands (begun 1981), Amsterdam Eastern Harbour (begun 1988) and Copenhagen South Harbour (begun 1995) as well as numerous infills and industrial redevelopments in the inner cities of Barcelona, Hamburg, Vienna or Gothenburg evidence the increasing emphasis on housing in the inner cities.

The conference will examine the architectural outcomes of the “return to the inner city” – that is, the numerous variations of dense, multi-storey “New Tenement” architecture, and the conditions that generated this architecture – the political and socio-economic background as well as the different ways in which living in the inner city was both conceptualised and realised.

Contact: Ambrose Gillick, a.gillick@gsa.ac.uk

Website: https://backtothecityconference2016.wordpress.com/

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