chapter  3
27 Pages

The fall and rise of ‘Solent city’

Colin Buchanan & Partners’ (1966) indicative ‘linear-directional’ plan for South Hampshire has come to be associated with the notion of ‘Solent city’, a term that implies the emergence of a single South Hampshire conurbation. The term Solent city is nowhere to be found in the South Hampshire Study ( SHS ), and instead emerged as shorthand for the sheer horror felt by inhabitants and their political representatives over the emergence of a single functional urban region. The term Solent city was promoted before the SHS by the Alcan Corporation, which sponsored a series of circuit-linear city planning visions that included ‘Solent city’. These originally appeared as advertisements in the architectural press and were collected together and published under the title A Town Called Alcan (Cullen and Matthews, 1965). Together the Alcan advertising, the SHS and a later article entitled ‘nonplan’ (Banham et al. , 1969) formed part of a corpus of writings around this time that centred on notions of planning linear cities in what might be regarded as the high-water mark of modernism in British planning (Gold, 2007: 250).