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Housing By People: Towards Autonomy in Building Environments
"...John Turner is something much rarer than a housing expert; he is a philosopher of housing, seeking answers to questions which are so fundamental that they seldom get asked."--from the Introduction by Colin Ward
Paperback, 162 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
(first published June 1976)
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At times perhaps a bit Utopian, at others it gives itself away as a product of 70s urban anarchism, Turner's book makes up for this in it's enthusiasm for self-help solutions to housing problems and a fundamental belief in people's ability to successfully manage their own destinies and lives without the overbearing interventions of large, centrally managed systems. That run on sentence was just my way of gushing about the book a bit. It's always good to read something a bit anti-technocratic, a ...more
A disappointing book. Anarchist urban theorists are few and far between, so I had high hopes of radical new ways to think about urban space. Unfortunately, the book is pretty fluffy: you can sort of guess where he's going with things if you've ever heard or read a contemporary anarchist critique of state-Marxists. Here's the gist: capitalist housing market: fail. State-created housing: fail. Solution: let poor people work it out for themselves, either by leaving them the fuck alone, or (if you'r ...more