New light on an old problem: Child-related archaeological finds and the impact of the ‘Radburn’ council estate plan

Lewis, Carenza and Waites, Ian (2019) New light on an old problem: Child-related archaeological finds and the impact of the ‘Radburn’ council estate plan. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology . ISSN 2051-3429

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New light on an old problem: Child-related archaeological finds and the impact of the ‘Radburn’ council estate plan
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Abstract

This paper uses new data from archaeological excavations to explore the effectiveness of the ‘Radburn’ layout used in many post-war social housing estates. This aimed to provide healthy living environments for less-affluent families by fronting homes onto communal pedestrianised ‘greens’ enabling people to circulate and children to ‘play out’ safely near their homes. However, many Radburn estates are now socially deprived and explanations for this have included suggestions that the Radburn plan was inappropriate to the wants and needs of resident families.

Analysis of twenty small archaeological excavations carried out in 2016 by residents of a Radburn-type council estate in Lincolnshire recovered lost aspects of its heritage including a large number of child-related items from sites on the communal greens. This suggests that the greens were indeed used as intended for children’s play, undermining suggestions that inappropriate design was a significant factor in the decline of estates such as this.

Keywords:Archaeology, Archaeological excavation, community involvement, Children, Social Housing, Council estates, Radburn planning, Post-war British History, Toys and games, Town planning
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K390 Landscape Design not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V490 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V370 History of Design
W Creative Arts and Design > W290 Design studies not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Design)
College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:38720
Deposited On:07 Nov 2019 10:04

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