January 15, 2011

Planners vs. Pre-Fab in the Olde Sod

In the waning months of World War II, England built hundreds of pre-fab homes that were intended as only as temporary housing. Many of these neighborhoods were replaced within 20 years by Le Corbu inspired concrete towers, which, of course, were about as pleasant to look at and live in as a bag of hammers.

One neighborhood, the Excalibur Estate, has persisted, but a local council has redevelopment in mind for the 20 acre site: something on the order of 400 homes. (I found this amount perplexing, given that there are 187 prefab home/garden units there currently.)

The article has a definite NIMBY bias, given the historical role the prefab homes played for WWII vets, and given the natural human indignation summoned when a bureaucracy declares it can and will buy your home, demolish it, and rebuild under the aegis of a "Sustainable Community Strategy."

Related: Human Transit had a great post about the semantic importance of reporting both sides of story. This article fails that test, and as a result makes vilifying the cruel bean-counting central planners a very tempting activity. Am trying to resist without knowing more.

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