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Dr Otto Saumarez Smith has edited Oxford DNB February Update.

Dr Otto Saumarez Smith has been an advisory editor and key contributor for the February Update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography. This update has a particular focus on planners responsible for the redevelopment of Britain’s cities in the years after 1945. The subjects include three of Coventry’s town planners and designers: Sir Wilfred Burns, Percy Edwin Alan Johnson-Marshall, and Frederick Bernard Pooley.

Academic staff and students of the University of Warwick can read Otto's comprehensive Editor's Introduction to the Update (PDF) and view all the entries in the Oxford DNB (the library has a subscription to this online resource).

"These Oxford DNB entries are a contribution to the ongoing reassessment of these controversial figures. They attempt to understand, rather than merely castigate, the profession at the heart of the unparalleled physical transformation of urban Britain in these years. The cumulative effect won’t necessarily be to exonerate post-war planning, and they may not convince readers to re-evaluate the aesthetic and urbanistic qualities of divisive buildings covered in these entries, like Cumbernauld Town Centre, ‘Pooley’s Folly’ in Aylesbury, or Bradford city centre. Nevertheless, a more sympathetic approach is important, because it can help us to understand how the ideas of radical planners achieved such complete transformative ascendancy in the post-war period. The subject is hugely significant because of the profound effect it had, and continues to have, on everyday lives and places across the country".


Mon 04 Mar 2019, 12:38 | Tags: Impact, Publications, General, Online publication