Focusing on the key period between the late 18th century and 1914, the “The Radical and Socialist Tradition in British Planning”  provides the first comprehensive narrative account of radical and socialist texts and organised movements for reform to land planning and housing policies in Britain. Beginning with the early colonial settlements in the Puritan and enlightenment eras, it also covers Benthamite utilitarian planning, Owenite and utopian communitarianism, the Chartists, late Chartists and the First International, Christian Socialists and positivists, working class and radical land reform campaigns in the late 19th century, Garden City pioneers and the institutionalisation of the planning profession.

The book, in effect, presents a prehistory of land, planning and housing reform in the UK in contrast with most historiography which focuses on the immediate pre-World War I period. Providing an analysis of different intellectual traditions and contrasting middle class-led reform initiatives with those based on working class organisations, the book seeks to relate historical debates to contemporary themes, including utopianism and pragmatism, the role of the state, the balance between local initiatives and centrally driven reforms and the interdependence of land, housing and planning.

Duncan Bowie is a recently retired lecturer in planning and housing from the University of Westminster, where he was course leader on the MA Urban and Regional Planning. He is now a Senior Research Associate at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London.

He has worked in senior posts in housing and planning for the Mayor of London, the Housing Corporation, the London Docklands Development Corporation and London boroughs. He published a study of strategic planning and housing in London under Mayor Livingstone – Politics, Planning and Homes in a World City (Routledge, 2010) and a number of pamphlets on housing policy for think tanks. He is a member of the policy council of the Town and Country Planning Association, as well as the executive committees of the London Labour Housing Group and the London Society. He convenes an academic/practitioner network on housing supply: the Highbury Group on Housing Delivery. As well as being a qualified planner, Duncan has a history degree. He has published a book on the Roots of the British Socialist Movement (Socialist History Society, 2014) and for the last ten years has written a history column for the journal Chartist, of which he is also reviews editor.

The book is available to purchase here   https://www.routledge.com/The-Radical-and-Socialist-Tradition-in-British-Planning-From-Puritan-colonies/Bowie/p/book/9781472479020

Listen to a podcast  on “Working class politics in London and land, planning and housing reform” http://www.history.ac.uk/podcasts/mobilising-londons-housing-histories-provision-homes-1850/working-class-politics-london-and