Building Democracy by Graham Towers
Building Democracy is a major contribution to the growing public debate about the revival of community values in the face of the self-evident short-comings of the free market, specifically in terms of community architecture. Providing a historical context and an authoritative account of a movement that is proving surprisingly extensive and enduring, the book also examines the relevance of the approach to today's social and environmental problems, particularly in the inner cities.
Community architecture was promoted in the early 1980s as the achievement of a handful of pioneering architects finding new ways of working with groups of ordinary people, to help them develop their own homes and community facilities. Building Democracy records the achievements of this movement and analyzes its contribution in addressing the problems of inner cities. Beginning with the origins of the urban question in the industrialization of the 19th century, the book goes on to look at the large-scale urban redevelopment of the 1960s - the latest and most concerted attempt to remodel Victorian cities, and on to community action, from which grew new approaches to design, development and construction.
This book is of practical value to planners, architects, surveyors and landscape designers concerned with socially relevant design, as students or professionals. It will also be of interest to many people in the voluntary sector and in local government.