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BSc(ECON), MSOCSCI, PhD, FRSA, FRGS
School of Social Sciences
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483784
Professor John Gold is undertaking research that will lead to the final volume in his trilogy of books on the experiential history of the Modern Movement in British architecture. The first phase of this research, covered in his book The Experience of Modernism (Routledge, 1997), examined the anticipation of future urban forms and patterns of city life by modern architects between 1928-53. The second phase, examined in his book, The Practice of Modernism (Routledge, 2007), investigated the relationship between vision and practice in the years of metropolitan reconstruction (1954-72). The final book, The Legacy of Modernism (c. 2014), will use the same blend of oral historical and documentary research to consider the continuing experience of architectural modernism after the denouement of the 1970s up to the end of the twentieth century and reflect on modernism’s lasting impact on our towns and cities.
The outcomes of other recent projects include the book Representing the Environment (Routledge, 2004) on the cultural politics of environmental representation, which was jointly written with George Revill, and two books (with Margaret M. Gold) on the role and staging of cultural festivals. These are Cities of Culture: Staging International Festivals and the Urban Agenda, 1851-2000, (Ashgate Press, 2005) and the edited collection Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning, and the World’s Games, 1896-2016, (published in Routledge’s Studies in History, Planning and the Environment series, 2007 and 2011). He has recently completed a four-volume on The Making of Olympic Cities. In 2013, he will publish a work on non-ambulatory festivals entitled Festival Cities: Culture, Planning and Urban Life since 1918 (again for publication in Routledge’s Studies in History, Planning and the Environment series).
John was an undergraduate at the London School of Economics, from where holds a BSc (Econ) degree. He undertook postgraduate research in urban studies, specialising in architectural history, at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham, from where he holds the degrees of both MSocSci and PhD. He is now Professor of Urban Historical Geography and is a member of the University’s Institute for Historical and Cultural Research.
Over the last 20 years, he has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, the University of Surrey, the University of Birmingham (where he was Honorary Senior Research Fellow, 1998-2006), and Queen Mary, University of London, where he has twice been Visiting Professor. He has organised symposia, undertaken frequent work for the broadcasting media, given guest lectures and keynote addresses at many international conferences in Britain, North America, Scandinavia and Western Europe. Among many awards, he won the 1999 AESOP Prize for the 'best article in a journal or collection of papers, by an author researching in planning in Europe.'
Festivals have always been part of city life, but their relationship with their host cities has continually changed. With the rise of industrialization, they were largely considered peripheral to the course of urban affairs. Now they have become central to new ways of thinking about the challenges of economic and social change, as well as repositioning cities within competitive global networks. In this timely and thought-provoking book, John and Margaret Gold provide a reflective and evidence-based historical survey of the processes and actors involved, charting the ways that regular festivals have now become embedded in urban life and city planning.
Beginning with David Garrick’s rain-drenched Shakespearean Jubilee and ending with Sydney’s flamboyant Mardi Gras celebrations, it encompasses the emergence and consolidation of city festivals. After a contextual historical survey that stretches from Antiquity to the late nineteenth century, there are detailed case studies of pioneering European arts festivals in their urban context: Venice’s Biennale, the Salzburg Festival, the Cannes Film Festival and Edinburgh’s International Festival. Ensuing chapters deal with the worldwide proliferation of arts festivals after 1950 and with the ever-increasing diversifycation of carnival celebrations, particularly through the actions of groups seeking to assert their identity. The conclusion draws together the book’s key themes and sketches the future prospects for festival cities.
Lavishly illustrated, and copiously researched, this book is essential reading not just for urban geographers, social historians and planners, but also for anyone interested in contemporary festival and events tourism, urban events strategy, urban regeneration regeneration, or simply building a fuller understanding of the relationship between culture, planning and the city.
This paper explores the links between remediating land for Olympic event spaces and the pursuit of legacy. In particular, it considers ways in which redevelopment of the sizeable spaces prepared for staging the event take their place in broader strategies intended to bring long-term benefits to the host city and society in order to compensate for the costs and inconvenience originally incurred in hosting the Games. There are six main sections. The first analyses the diverse nature of brownfield land and highlights salient characteristics of its remediation for use in urban regeneration. The second supplies background to Olympic legacy and indicates the importance of the changing climate of ideas in understanding the formulation of legacy over the past two decades. The third section documents the role of remediation as an option employed recently by Games’ organisers when needing to find spaces of suitable size to stage the Olympics, noting how choosing remediation ab initio involves commitment to legacy. The fourth and fifth parts analyse approaches to implementing remediation, with respect to the key event spaces for two of the twenty-first century’s Summer Games: Homebush Bay, which housed the Olympic Park for Sydney 2000; and the Lower Lea Valley, which served the same function for London 2012. The final section provides commentary on the wider narratives of transformation associated with deployment of remediated sites for Olympic event spaces and indicates the significance of the values that have underpinned those narratives.
This commentary on the contribution made by Kavaratzis and Ashworth (2005) examines the antecedents to which it responded, the key ideas that it offered at the time of publication, and assesses its lasting impact. There are three main sections. The first reflects upon the informal and improvised approaches that characterised place promotion, marketing and branding in the final decades of the twentieth century. The second surveys Kavaratzis and Ashworth’s critical reflections on the existing theory and practice of city branding. The third section discusses their as contributing a benchmark in scholarly discourse that reflected convergences with management science and policy relevance, but recognises that it was implicated in a broader meta-narrative shaped by neoliberalist approaches and values.
The Olympics have a greater, more profound and more pervasive impact on the urban fabric of their host cities than any other sporting or cultural event. This paper is concerned with issues of memory and remembering in Olympic host cities. After a contextual introduction, it employs a case study of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP), the main event space for the London 2012 Summer Games, to supply insight into how to read the urban traces of Olympic memory. Three key themes are identified when interpreting the memories associated with the Park and its built structures, namely: treatment of the area’s displaced past, memorializing the Games, and with memory legacy. The ensuing discussion section then adopts a historiographic slant, stressing the importance of narrative and offering wider conclusions about Olympic memory and the city. = El impacto de los Juegos Olímpicos en el tejido urbano de las ciudades anfitrionas es mayor, más profundo y más generalizado que el de cualquier otro evento deportivo o cultural. Este trabajo analiza temas relacionados con la memoria y el recuerdo en las ciudades anfitrionas de los Juegos Olímpicos. Tras introducir del contexto, se utiliza un estudio de caso del Parque Olímpico Queen Elizabeth (QEOP, por sus siglas en inglés), el principal espacio de los Juegos de Verano de Londres 2012, para plantear un nuevo enfoque sobre cómo leer las huellas urbanas de la memoria olímpica. Se identifican tres temas clave al interpretar los recuerdos asociados con el Parque y sus estructuras construidas, a saber: el tratamiento del pasado desplazado del área, la conmemoración de los Juegos y el legado de la memoria. La sección de discusión adopta un enfoque historiográfico, subrayando la importancia de la narrativa y ofreciendo gran variedad de conclusiones sobre la memoria olímpica y la ciudad.
The late-1960s witnessed sustained debate about the prevailing direction of policy towards the existing built environment. Against that background, an initiative launched in 1966 saw small teams of consultants commissioned to prepare analytic and advisory reports on Bath, Chester, Chichester and York. Their reports were belatedly published between February and May 1969. They were intended not just to provide specific information about four cathedral cities but also collectively to act as pilot studies able to indicate more generally the options available to policy-makers. In this paper, we make use of oral testimony, archive sources and contemporary commentaries to identify the origins and purpose of this initiative, discuss the intrinsic visions offered for the different cities, and comment on the methodologies proposed for achieving conservation. The final section provides historiographic commentary on the significance of the Studies in Conservation half-a-century after their publication.
The decision to award the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to London has focused interest on the lasting legacy of benefits and problems that may result from staging the games. This paper explores the nature and characteristics of the sports legacy arising from those games. It opens by considering the meaning of Olympic sports legacy, and then gives a brief analysis of the sports legacies associated with the two previous London Olympics (1908 and 1948). It then considers the legacy promises made in the bid documents for London 2012, before examining the progress made and challenges encountered during the post-award development phase for managing sports legacy -” not least in view of the prevailing climate of economic retrenchment.
Winning the right to host the Olympic Games is widely regarded as the most significant prize on offer in the never-ending contest between the world's leading cities for prestige and investment. This essay explores the implications and significance of being an Olympic city. After recognising the Olympics as a mega-event with inherent mega-project tendencies, it provides a chronological survey that shows the changing agendas that host cities have brought to bear on staging the Games. The increasing scale of their ambitions is noted, particularly with respect to urban regeneration and city rebranding, while also recognising the financial and human costs involved. The next part throws light on contemporary practice through a study of the proposals for the Lower Lea Valley in London's East End - the site of the future Olympic Park for the 2012 Summer Games. The conclusion suggests an evolving research agenda, framed particularly around the London 2012 Games and the notion of legacy.
This paper describes an experiment in using film in teaching environmental philosophy to geography students, which employs a 20‐minute clip from the opening scenes of The Grapes of Wrath (directed by John Ford, 1940). Use is made of the ambiguity of the film's interpretation of conditions in rural Oklahoma during the ‘Dust Bowl’ years of the 1930s to challenge students to apply and illustrate the contrasting viewpoints supplied by a set of widely divergent environmental philosophies. The initial sections of the paper supply a brief note about using film in geographical higher education, before discussing the background to the extract seen by the students. We then provide detailed discussion of the structure and procedures in the classroom exercise, followed by comment on the changes that we have made in the light of experience and student evaluations. The conclusion summarises the lessons that we have learned from this exercise and comments on further use of film for teaching environmental philosophy.
The ‘Landscape Assay’ is a field study exercise which invites students to explore, understand and gain an appreciation of some of the variety of ways people interpret the world around them. It also aims to give students a deeper understanding of the causes of some environmental controversies. The term ‘assay’ has been chosen for this exercise because it links the exercise with concepts of assessment and judgement without connecting it too closely with established techniques of landscape evaluation. The exercise forms the final element in the module ‘Environmental Philosophy’, a third‐year synoptic course for undergraduate geographers. Different societies have developed an enormous variety of world‐views; the aim of this exercise is to allow students to explore sets of environmental values within the environs of Oxford. The exercise works with the pragmatic categorisation of world‐views or ‘world hypotheses’ developed by Stephen Pepper (1942). These are used throughout the course to provide a simplified conceptual framework by which students are able to compare schools of environmental thought. In this schema environmental philosophies are understood through a tripartite division into subjective‐spiritual, material‐objective and systemic‐holistic factors. Students are encouraged to see philosophies formed from these as complex and interrelated rather than mutually exclusive. Student teams are sent out to classify a set landscape into zones which are ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘indifferent’ according to the precepts of different, specific world‐views. Their interpretations are employed to initiate discussion of the contextual and culturally specific nature of value judgements. After the spoken presentation of each team's findings, the class as a whole is required to determine the core beliefs which guided each classification.
Field study, widely regarded as an essential part of geographical higher education, is under severe pressure due to its high cost, resource demands and a legacy of poor educational practices that have left it on the fringes of the curriculum. This paper outlines a case study of an undergraduate module, framed around a field course, which seeks to integrate fieldwork into the curriculum by combining training in field study with training in research and presentation skills. The module employs group‐based project work throughout, with no items assessed individually. The paper concludes by pointing to the pedagogic and tactical advantages of the approach adopted, but warns against the overuse of group work.
College students often have a limited appreciation of the way that the mass media construct images of place. This paper outlines a field simulation exercise that allows new geography students to confront the ways in which values shape media information. It requires students to take on the role of teams of journalists, working independently from one another, who are sent to an unfamiliar location to report on its landscapes and environments. It is so constructed that the teams unknowingly have been divided into two cultures: one seeking stories with an optimistic, upbeat character, the other searching for evidence of decline and decay. The aims and rules of the simulation are outlined, the necessary materials detailed, and the four phases of the exercise described. Possible extensions of the simulation are suggested.
The quality of life in cities is a subject that has aroused considerable concern and fears, but treatment of the subject tends to have become distorted by pre-existing values and subsumed under broader questions. This paper concentrates on the city as an experienced place and focuses on three emerging areas of discussion. The first part deals with the shift from two-dimensional, plan-based proposals for the future to three-dimensional theories applied to the finer grain of future urban form. The second part deals with the increasing realisation of the cultural basis and manifestations of quality in urban life and the research on urban cultural innovation which this has encouraged, drawing evidence from the Council of Europe's 21-town cultural innovation project. The final section discusses the significance of dreams for the future in shaping the urban environment of the future. It points to the current vacuum in thinking on the subject and indicates the problems that this poses for making choices for the urban environment.
Bringing together a multidisciplinary team of scholars, this book explores the importance of ethnicity and cultural economy in the post-Fordist city in the Americas. It argues that cultural, political and economic elites make use of cultural and ethnic elements in city planning and architecture in order to construct a unique image of a particular city and demonstrates how the use of ethnicized cultural production - such as urban branding based on local identities - by the economic elite raises issues of considerable concern in terms of local identities, as it deploys a practical logic of capital exchange that can overcome forms of cultural resistance and strengthen the hegemonic colonization of everyday life. At the same time, it shows how ethnic communities are able to use ethnic labelling of cultural production, ethnic economy or ethno-tourism facilities in order to change living conditions and to empower its members in ways previously impossible. Of wide ranging interest across academic disciplines, this book will be a useful contribution to Inter-American studies.
When identified with a phase in urban development rather than as merely synonymous with the 'contemporary city', the term 'modern city' has two meanings. The first, sensu lato, equates it to the 'industrial city'. As such, the modern city refers to a period in urban history lasting from the early nineteenth century to the 1970s, in which the city and social order were shaped by the modernizing tendencies associated with industrialization. The second meaning, sensu stricto, views the modern city as coterminous with the advent of modernism in architecture and planning and as a late stage in the development of the industrial city. This period, lasting roughly from the late 1940s through to the mid-1970s, was characterized by rationalist approaches toward the ordering of urban space and was mediated by a set of planning and architectural principles seen as appropriate for universal application rather than allowing for the particularities of place. These principles prioritized comprehensive ('master') planning as the way to guide urban development, privileged comprehensive redevelopment ('clearance') as the means to bring about change and favored the distinctive built forms associated with architecture's 'modern movement' when redeveloping the urban environment.
The word 'legacy', as John MacAloon (2008) recently remarked, has assumed 'magical properties' in Olympic circles. Despite the fact that there is no consensus on precisely what the word means, legacy is an ever-present element in current debate about cities staging the Olympics and is the touchstone for measuring their worth. Pronouncements from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ' the ruling body for the Olympic movement ' are now routinely framed in terms of the 'legacy' that the Games will leave for sport and for the host city. The cities that bid for the Games frame their bids in terms of the legacy that the Olympics will bequeath. Those select few cities that then gain the right to host the Games routinely integrate the Olympic mega-event into their planning and place promotional agendas. Certainly, if one were to do a content analysis of reportage on the progress of London 2012, it would almost certainly show that the question of what was to come after the Games has received more attention than the Games themselves.
The American geographer David Lowenthal played a key role during the 1960s and 1970s in stimulating the environmental perception movement, in the revival of landscape studies within geography and, more generally, in helping to encourage the growth of nonpositivist approaches in human geography. Subsequently, he became an important influence on debate about the historic environment, with his work making a substantial contribution toward establishing the intellectual basis of heritage studies.