By Karen Evans, Penny Fraser, Ian Taylor
A story of 2 towns is a research of 2 significant towns, Manchester and Sheffield. Drawing at the paintings of significant theorists, the authors discover the standard lifestyles, making contributions to our knowing of the defining actions of lifestyles.
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Extra info for A Tale of Two Cities: Global Change, Local Feeling and Everyday Life in Manchester and Sheffield
In that it does so, it has a direct relation—rather than merely a symbolic one—to social life, since it provides the material conditions for the patterns of movement, encounter and avoidance which are the material realisation—as well as sometimes the generator—of social relations. (Hillier and Hanson 1984:ix) Hillier and Hanson’s argument is that the physical layout of buildings and space in a city—independently even of their aesthetic interpretation— provides a basic material structure for everyday life in that city, in ways that many architects and cultural commentators, preoccupied with the symbolic features of buildings and space, have tended to ignore.
These particular indices of local variation in service delivery are part and parcel of the government’s project of ensuring accountability and cost-efficiency, especially within the public sector. But we are also constantly presented, particularly in the quality press, with many other league tables, giving expression to a wide variety of other instances of local and regional variation—most notably, in terms of levels of poverty, unemployment, ill-health and mortality. Some of these reports (and the league tables that accompany them) are the fruits of the ongoing concern of academics and scholars with the effective auditing and evaluation of government policy, sometimes in respect of certain egalitarian goals that are still held dear in many parts of the academy, and sometimes simply in the name of a stubborn and realistic curiosity with respect to the quality of life of other citizens.
Given the absence in Sheffield of a comparable, concentric circle of inner-city deprivation, Sheffield’s ‘ghetto’, as we will see in Chapter 8, has grown up and institutionalised in the local imagination in Pitsmoor and Burngreave, a Victorian inner suburb which in the 1930s had a quite genteel reputation. The particularity of these local transformations in urban environments (the presence or absence of a recognisable innercity area) is one of many features lost in accounts which speak, in highly generalised a fashion, of the shared or common features of ‘the North of England industrial city’ as a whole.