Read e-book online A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys through Urban Britain PDF

By Owen Hatherley

ISBN-10: 1844678571

ISBN-13: 9781844678570

An anatomy of failed-state Britain, by way of the writer of A consultant to the hot Ruins of significant Britain.

In A consultant to the recent Ruins of serious Britain, Owen Hatherley skewered New Labour’s architectural legacy in all its witless swagger. Now, within the 12 months of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, he units out to explain what the Coalition’s altogether various method of fiscal mismanagement and civic irresponsibility is doing to the locations the place the British dwell.

In a trip that starts and results in the capital, Hatherley takes us from Plymouth and Brighton to Belfast and Aberdeen, when it comes to the eerie urbanism of the Welsh valleys and the much-mocked splendour of modernist Coventry. all over open air the substitute Southeast, the construction has stopped in cities and towns, which languish as they look forward to the subsequent bout of self-defeating austerity.

Hatherley writes with unrivalled aggression in regards to the disarray of contemporary Britain, and but this continues to be a e-book approximately probabilities remembered, approximately not likely successes in the course of probably inexorable failure. For in addition to trash, old and sleek, Hatherley reveals indicators of the hopeful state Britain as soon as used to be and tricks of what it may become.
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Extra info for A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys through Urban Britain

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They want to see the whole bloody thing burn. xlvii a new kind of ble a k Back to Business Not that this seems to have had much immediate effect. I live in Woolwich, where among the burnt-out (or in one case completely destroyed) buildings appeared a hoarding headed ‘BACK TO BUSINESS’, promising a mega-Tesco, a Travelodge, and imminent Royal Borough status as panaceas for the poverty and frustration that led to the riots. It may as well have been headed ‘WE REFUSE TO LEARN ANYTHING’. It could be a cipher for the way the country has responded to the crisis at large; from city councillors to homeowners, there appears to be a widespread hope that if we can get the property bubble reinflated, 2007 will be here all over again and the whole bloody cycle will start up again.

I want to study business law. I want to see West End shows. ’ For over a week, Trent Park became a ‘Transversal Space’, which is to say a Free University, with speeches and actions taking place inside the usual University spaces. The thing with Middlesex, and what made it so unlike occupations at SOAS or LSE, is that the place is already the model of the neoliberal university – totally dispersed, totally atomized, with no particular Traditions of Glorious Rebellion. If, as Mark Fisher argued in his book Capitalist Realism, the 2006 student protests over employment laws in France were easily presented as conservative attempts to retain privileges, Middlesex, and the protests of winter 2010, are the exact opposite – rather, they are what happens when an already neoliberalized student body tries to politicize itself.

From Chatham Dockyard you can see something just slightly more ambitious. In the foreground is an Odeon, using the same industrial Big Shed method as the old factories, then for producing, now for consuming; behind them you can see two skyscrapers. Well, almost skyscrapers, of a sleekness and finish that you don’t generally expect in an area more marked by concreteframed blocks with oast-house cowls on top. Both have curved, glazed façades, and are a fragment of the ‘aspirational’ side of the Thames Gateway’s property frenzy, the part that involves the perusal of Wallpaper* magazine and viewings of Grand Designs as much as of Location, Location, Location.

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A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys through Urban Britain by Owen Hatherley


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