Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City

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9780141033914: Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City

When the figures say crime is falling, why are we more frightened than ever? Could our towns and cities be creating fear and mistrust? More property is being built in Britain than at any time since the Second World War - but it's owned by private corporations, designed for profit and watched over by CCTV. From the Docklands boom to cities such as Manchester, gated apartment developments, gleaming business districts and plazas have sprung up over the country. Has this 'regeneration' really made our lives better? This passionate and vivid polemic shows us the face of Britain today, revealing the untested urban planning that is transforming not only our cities, but the nature of public space, of citizenship and of trust. Anna Minton meets those who live and work in the new private spaces, those who've fought against them and those who are excluded from them, providing forceful evidence that physical barriers are leading to a divided nation.Yet there is another way. Offering some surprising solutions, Anna Minton argues for an alternative, continental approach that celebrates shared space. Ultimately Ground Control presents a better, happier future for our communities, and our society.

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About the Author:

Anna Minton's writing has always highlighted complex subject areas which are vital to the way we live but are often overlooked. Ground Control emerged from a series of three agenda setting reports, two of which were published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and another by the think tank, Demos, looking at the enormous impact of gated communities and ghettoes in the US and how this was being transported to the UK and the growing privatization of space.Anna is the author of The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Viewpoint on fear and distrust and is a member of the writers' panel for The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Her media experience and networks in urban policy have led her to advisory boards for a number of public and private sector clients.Anna is the recipient of five national journalism awards. She was former staff writer for the Financial Times and writes regularly for the Guardian. Ground Control is her first book.

Review:

Anna Minton has done us a service with this book . . . compelling -- Hugh Pearman * The Sunday Times * A sharp and urgent anaylsis of our changing towns and cities * Metro * A timely and powerful study . . . revelatory * Guardian * Compelling . . . raises important questions about the meaning of liberty in contemporary society and what we are prepared to defend today * Times *

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