'This villa life': town planning, suburbs and the 'new social order' in early twentieth-century Australia

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Planning Perspectives, 2010, 25 (4), pp. 457 - 483
Issue Date:
2010-01
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In Australia, social reformers approached the new century and post-World War I reconstruction with the hope of establishing a ânew social orderâ based on national efficiency and class harmony. This was to be delivered through the new science of town planning. The would-be reformers posited themselves as an intellectual vanguard which would provide leadership and assist in establishing an enlightened bureaucracy of professional public servants who would also lead the way to social betterment. Their project, however, had collapsed by the end of the war. Lacking collective political clout, the nascent planning professionalsâ influence declined as the political environment became more conservative in the 1920s. Reformist and radical features of town planning were stripped from suburban agendas. Suburbs, once held up as the cradle of the ânew social orderâ, were to become places for quarantining class and reinvigorating liberalism.
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