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  • The Global Phoenix: From Destruction to Reconstruction, 1945–60

    Mark Clapson

    Chapter from the book: Clapson, M. 2019. The Blitz Companion: Aerial Warfare, Civilians and the City since 1911.


    Following the violent destruction to urban centres across the world between 1939 and 1945, major national projects of reconstruction were initiated to rebuild bomb-damaged cities and to revitalise urban and national life. Britain, Germany and Japan provide the case studies for this chapter, although other countries are included to demonstrate key themes, issues and problems in the reconstruction of the post-WW2 urban world. For although there were some successful rebuilding projects, reconstruction was often a story of grand visions and ambitious plans which foundered on the rocks of political divisions and practical problems. The Greater London Plan, for example, one of the most ambitious urban renewal schemes produced in wartime, threw into sharp relief the fate of many urban centres who looked forward to bright modern futures, but who settled for something less. This story holds wider lessons not only for bomb-damaged cities but for other sites of urban trauma.

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    Clapson, M. 2019. The Global Phoenix: From Destruction to Reconstruction, 1945–60. In: Clapson, M, The Blitz Companion. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book26.f

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    Published on April 2, 2019