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Outskirts : living life on the edge of the…
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Outskirts : living life on the edge of the green belt (vuoden 2017 painos)

– tekijä: John Grindrod

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
253739,075 (3.83)6
Forgotten edgelands, furious battles, suburban mysteries - discover the secret history of our green belts. Green belts are part of the landscape and psyche of post-war Britain, but have led to conflicts at every level of society - between conservationists and developers, town and country, politicians and people, nimbys and the forces of progress. Growing up on 'the last road in London' on an estate at the edge of the woods, John Grindrod had a childhood that mirrored these tensions. His family, too, seemed caught between two worlds: his wheelchair-bound mother and soft hearted father had moved from the inner city and had trouble adjusting. His warring brothers struggled too: there was the sporty one who loved the outdoors, and the agoraphobic who hated it. And then there was John, an unremarkable boy on the edge of it all discovering something magical. In the green belts John discovers strange hidden places, from nuclear bunkers to buried landfill sites, and along the way meets planners, protestors, foresters and residents whose passions for and against the green belt tell a fascinating tale of Britain today. The first book to tell the story of Britain's green belts, Outskirts is at once a fascinating social history, a stirring evocation of the natural world, and a poignant tale of growing up in a place, and within a family, like no other.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:EEV_Library
Teoksen nimi:Outskirts : living life on the edge of the green belt
Kirjailijat:John Grindrod
Info:London : Sceptre, 2017.
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:Green belts, England

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Outskirts: Living Life on the Edge of the Green Belt (tekijä: John Grindrod)

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näyttää 3/3
Part history of the green belt, part memoir, part travel around the sorts of places a lot of us grew up in. I finished it really quickly and then spent some time skimming back through it. I was born in London and we moved out to live up in a new town very soon after. The author lights up some odd corners of that experience that I had always assumed were individual, but are obviously much more about the situations that the individual. Very interesting. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Over 1.5 million hectares of green belt land exist in the UK. It was conceived way back in Victorian times as a way of ensuring that the people living in towns still had some contact with the countryside. The Green Belt around London was first proposed in 1935 and by 1947 local authorities were including green belt proposals in their development plans. There are lots of benefits of having these green areas surrounding towns, it prevents towns from merging together, discourages urban sprawl and encourages people to reuse land more efficiently. When I think of the green belt, you have this impression of a wide band of fields and woods surrounding a town or city. However, the reality is much messier than that and it is a resource that is under threat from housing pressures and developers so much so that we have lost over 30,000 hectares since the millennium.

Grindrod grew up in New Addington, at the point where urban Croydon fizzles out and the fields and coppices begin. The youngest of three boys, his parents John and Marj had moved out from a flat in Battersea to this new development in Surrey at the very end of the Sixties. For reasons that become apparent later on, John was a little bit of a loner and suffered from endless teasing; the woodlands opposite his house became a bolthole where he could indulge his imagination when the real world became too much for him. But it became more that, it was a place that came to define him as a person and set the path for his life and career as he became a modern-day Janus man who looked towards the urban and rural landscapes for inspiration.

As well as Grindrod’s insightful personal stories of his own life growing up in 1970’s suburbia and a fitting eulogy to his mother and father, this is a warts and all history of the green belt and its place in the social history of the UK. It bought back my own memories of growing up; we lived in an estate right next to a woodland that was planted by Thomas Waterer and where I spent many happy hours as a child. He champions the good points behind the green belt and the benefits it can provide to society and he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the disjointed housing policy we have had in the UK since the 1980’s. Grindrod is not afraid to challenge the current thinking too arguing that we need a big rethink on national policy with the current housing crisis, especially when you consider the area of land designated green belt (and golf courses are included) in the UK, especially when compared to actual land that is built on. It won’t be an easy debate, but it is one we need to have. Really enjoyable book, and as I haven’t read Concretopia yet, but it is being moved up the list. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Grindrod combines a memoir of growing up where town meets nature on the edge of Croydon with an exploration of 'green belts', their past and present. Excellent book. Read my full review on my blog http://annabookbel.net/graham-norton-keeper ( )
  gaskella | Jan 2, 2019 |
näyttää 3/3
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Forgotten edgelands, furious battles, suburban mysteries - discover the secret history of our green belts. Green belts are part of the landscape and psyche of post-war Britain, but have led to conflicts at every level of society - between conservationists and developers, town and country, politicians and people, nimbys and the forces of progress. Growing up on 'the last road in London' on an estate at the edge of the woods, John Grindrod had a childhood that mirrored these tensions. His family, too, seemed caught between two worlds: his wheelchair-bound mother and soft hearted father had moved from the inner city and had trouble adjusting. His warring brothers struggled too: there was the sporty one who loved the outdoors, and the agoraphobic who hated it. And then there was John, an unremarkable boy on the edge of it all discovering something magical. In the green belts John discovers strange hidden places, from nuclear bunkers to buried landfill sites, and along the way meets planners, protestors, foresters and residents whose passions for and against the green belt tell a fascinating tale of Britain today. The first book to tell the story of Britain's green belts, Outskirts is at once a fascinating social history, a stirring evocation of the natural world, and a poignant tale of growing up in a place, and within a family, like no other.

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