The long-term development of public green spaces such as parks, public gardens, and recreation grounds in London during the twentieth century is a curiously neglected subject, despite the fact that various kinds of green spaces cover huge areas in cities in the UK today. This book explores how and why public green spaces have been created and used in London, and what actors have been involved in their evolution, during the course of the twentieth century. Building on case studies of the contemporary boroughs of Camden and Southwark and making use of a wealth of archival material, the author takes us through the planning and creation stages, to the intended (and actual) uses and ongoing management of the spaces. By highlighting the rise and fall of municipal authorities and the impact of neo-liberalism after the 1970s, the book also deepens our understanding of how London has been governed, planned and ruled during the twentieth century. It makes a crucial contribution to academic as well as political discourse on the history and present role of green space in sustainable cities.

chapter 1|15 pages


part 1|1 pages

Growing Interest in Greening: 1920–1939

chapter 3|33 pages

Leisure in Public Green Spaces

part 2|1 pages

Greening with New Plans and Powers: 1940–1965

chapter 4|34 pages

Post-War Greening of London

chapter 5|31 pages

Leisure in Post-War Public Green Spaces

part 3|1 pages

Fragmentation and Revival: 1965–1999

chapter 6|33 pages

Dispersal of Planning and Provision

chapter 7|32 pages

Decline of Outdoor Leisure

chapter 8|5 pages

The Greening of London