chapter  3
The Anatomy of Suburbs
Pages 44

Inter-war residential areas in England were, in the large majOrIty of cases, markedly different in physical character from those created before the First World War. Pepper (1989, p. 295) refers to the 'inter-war housing revolution' and considers it to be 'one of the more important socio-economic developments of modern times'. The physical forms that accompanied this revolution were in many respects remarkably distinct from those of earlier periods. Recognition of this fact is implicit in a good deal that has been written about the appearance of British cities and it is explicit in the urban morphological classifications of Conzen (1958). A distinction has also been recognized between the physical forms of the inter-war period and those that followed the Second World War (Conzen, 1960, pp. 8-9): the physical forms created between the two wars would seem to represent a discrete morphological period (Conzen, 1969, p. 127). However, the argument for the existence of such a morphological period rests on impressions rather than carefully assembled facts. Like the creations of most such periods, the antecedents of inter-war forms can be identified in earlier periods. In the nineteenth century there had been areas of detached and semidetached houses within or, more often, fringing the compact areas of terraced houses that dominated urban areas. These reveal much about the origins of the suburbs that were to characterize the inter-war years.