Pimlico, 1970: Ian Nairn on council housing, human scale and low traffic neighbourhoods

Pimlico, 1970: Ian Nairn on council housing, human scale and low traffic neighbourhoods

Ian Nairn was an architecture critic, writer and broadcaster with a passionate interest in urban environments who wrote a celebrated book about London. His ideal of a city in which a “village” ethos was a defence against “subtopian” suburbs and the degradation of city centre areas brought about by destructive planning policies has since sustained a few bruising contacts with changing times, such as the mixed fortunes of post-war council estates and the powerful recovery of London’s economy from the end of the 1980s. But in the film about Pimlico he presented in 1970, embedded below, he articulates his philosophy with typical, slightly irritable, eloquence.

Fans and foes of London’s new Covid-era Low Traffic Neighbourhoods alike will enjoy his appreciation of Westminster City Council’s approach for inhibiting through-traffic: no planters, no cameras, no street closures but plenty of No Entry signs…

Read more about Ian Nairn here and here.

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Categories: Culture

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