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theguardian - 14 days ago

Alice Coleman obituary

Geographer who championed the idea of ‘defensible space’ in order to improve on the problematic designs of some high-rise estatesThe geographer Alice Coleman, who has died aged 99, set out to prove that British modernist high-rise council estates were failing because their layout lacked “defensible space”, and that their problematic design reduced social interaction while encouraging crime and anti-social behaviour.In her book Utopia on Trial: Vision and Reality in Planned Housing (1985) Alice condemned such estates as failed idylls, criticising authoritarian and paternalistic planners within the Ministry of Housing, local government and the Department of the Environment. As an alternative she promoted modifications that she believed would tackle some of the problems inadvertently created by poor design. Continue reading...

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