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Title: Characterising the post-industrial city : a case-study of industrial era residential areas in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Authors: Winterburn, Elli
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study proposes that urban post-industrial landscapes are defined by both the emergence of new post-industrial building types and uses, and the survival of 19th century residential areas that are typical in English cities. As such the post-industrial city is characterised by processes of change and continuity. The concern for and interest in the character of these residential areas is seen as indicative of current cultural values in the management of the (historic built) environment. This study suggests that in an increasingly complex post-industrial world the concern for character and sense of place are of paramount social and cultural importance, yet the notion of character is often in practice used in a prescriptive, limited capacity and this belies its inclusive and profound, but very complex, potential. Combining historical research with the analysis of the current built environment, the aim of this research is, through a three-phased case-study of the Heaton Residential Neighborhood, to analyse the history, development and the subsequent changes that over the last 100 or so years have had an impact on Heaton as an area. The case-study is undertaken in the context of a theoretical framework developed from a critical reading of existing character conceptualisations within environmental disciplines. This theoretical framework understands the city and its character as a transductive matrix that combines the technical, physical, psychical and affective realities. The case-study is also contextualised in relation to current environmental management policies and a number of established built environment research methods are evaluated based on how they relate to the theoretical framework and address change within the built environment. The concluding chapters develop the case-study research further through historical and typological analysis, assess the merits of the research methodology used and connect the case-study research with the theoretical framework. This study concludes that the research approach adopted allows for the critical assessment of the perceived key characteristics of the surviving 19th century residential areas. It is suggested that combination of historical research and analysis of the current built environment can shed new light on the development of the character of all residential areas. Furthermore, in moving beyond the physical appearance as the key constituent of character, this study high-lights the more abstract characteristics of 19th century residential areas within the post-industrial city.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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