Birmingham 1963

The 1960s was a period of wholesale redevelopment of inner city areas. This view, taken about 1963 shows why new housing was needed. I took the lift to the top floor of a new housing block and asked a resident if I could photograph through this window. It was an austere and colourless district though many such communities were close knit and friendly in their shared hardship. The new housing often wrenched communities apart. You couldn’t sit on your doorstep and chat with neighbours. Much of interest was swept away and most towns and cities lost buildings of great character. In recent years a more enlightened approach has been to renovate rather than completely redevelop.

I do miss the more human scale of the urban landscape of my childhood.

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