A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain

Front Cover
Verso Books, Jul 1, 2011 - Social Science - 400 pages
Back in 1997, New Labour came to power amid much talk of regenerating the inner cities left to rot under successive Conservative governments. Over the next decade, British cities became the laboratories of the new enterprise economy: glowing monuments to finance, property speculation, and the service industry—until the crash.

In A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the wreckage—the buildings that epitomized an age of greed and aspiration. From Greenwich to Glasgow, Milton Keynes to Manchester, Hatherley maps the derelict Britain of the 2010s: from riverside apartment complexes, art galleries and amorphous interactive “centers,” to shopping malls, call centers and factories turned into expensive lofts. In doing so, he provides a mordant commentary on the urban environment in which we live, work and consume. Scathing, forensic, bleakly humorous, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain is a coruscating autopsy of a get-rich-quick, aspirational politics, a brilliant, architectural “state we’re in.”
 

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Contents

Southampton Terminus City
1
Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire Alphaville
47
Nottingham The Banality of Aspiration
63
Sheffield The Former Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire
77
Manchester So Much to Answer For
115
Tyneside From Brasilia to Baltic
157
Glasgow Looking for the Future in All the Wrong Places
183
Cambridge Silicon Fences
217
Cardiff Manufacturing a Capital
267
Greenwich Estuarine Enclaves
283
Liverpool Exit
331
Acknowledgements
351
Notes
353
General Index
359
Index of Places
367
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Owen Hatherley is the author of the acclaimed Militant Modernism, a defense of the modernist movement, and A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain. He writes regularly on the political aesthetics of architecture, urbanism and popular culture for a variety of publications, including Building Design, Frieze, the Guardian and the New Statesman. He blogs on political aesthetics at nastybrutalistandshort.blogspot.com.

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