Urban Adventures

Planning and zoning -1944

Pages from Goldfinger's 'Planning Your Neighbourhood'

'Planning Your Neighbourhood': Cover (left); and page 4 (right) with illustration demonstrating the advantages of facilities being within easy reach of the home, 1944
Designer: Ernö Goldfinger
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections


Britain's lack of trained planners in the years after World War II caused many established architects to begin town planning for the first time. As the war drew to a close, architect Ernö Goldfinger worked on exhibitions for the Army Bureau of Current Affairs and this accompanying publication 'Planning Your Neighbourhood' on behalf of the Air Ministry Directorate of Educational Services. With his wife Ursula Blackwell, Goldfinger expounded the popular idea of neighbourhood planning, whereby parts of the cities are reconstructed in a unified style for a set number of people to live.

Here, Goldfinger designs a new neighbourhood on land in war-damaged Shoreditch, London. Through diagrams and montages he explains the logic of the design's placing of homes, shops, schools, green spaces, industry and traffic relative to each other. In doing so he planned to sweep away the slums, use space more efficiently, separating pedestrians and traffic and realigning new developments to Patrick Abercrombie's 'County of London Plan'.


Top of page