For evidence of how our towns and have changed and will change again, take a trip to Cliffe Castle in Keighley, one of my favorite gritty ex-industrial northern towns.

These images are part of an interesting collection of exhibits on the history of the town and how it developed from the industrial revolution to today.

I was struck by how the motor vehicle has opened up our towns centres (mostly with inaccessible and inhuman space) and that we now fight to reclaim our streets with the kind of pedestrianisation we once had.

Agreed, we can do without the sanitation problems and overcrowding of the past. We ourselves are much healthier people physically, but our communities paid a high price.

The price is we lose a human scale and civic purpose to our towns that sanitised re-development and retail space alone cannot put back.

Time will have a hard task softening what we have done to our urban space, but as these photos show, it will do its work.

http://www.bradfordmuseums.org/venues/cliffecastle/index.php

 

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