This book should be read by any serious student of Scotland's built environment...'

David Ross, Sunday Herald


For the first time we have a convincing explanation as to how the tenement form mutated into the distinctive council housing of Scotland in the inter-war years.’ 

Richard Rodger, Introduction


 Scotland’s Homes Fit for Heroes is a major contribution to the historical literature on early 20th Century housing reform and town planning in Scotland.  Against the background of an indigenous tenement tradition, and the early development of the mainstream garden city movement, the book provides a broad overview of the key influences of garden city principles in Scotland, highlighting their impact on the built form of working class housing and the general pattern of urban expansion.

The work is based on a wide-ranging review of official documents and contemporary reports, along with insights gained from site visits to various locations across Scotland.  Although no full-scale garden cities were actually built in Scotland between 1900 and 1939, the promotion of garden city ideas generated a lively debate about the relative advantages of cottages versus tenements for working class families.  Before the outbreak of WW1, innovative cottage developments began to appear in the Scottish landscape, sponsored by a handful of progressive voluntary bodies and local authorities. This type of provision increased during WW1 through a variety of efforts to construct suitable accommodation for incoming defence workers.

After the war, a more concerted attempt was made to deliver garden city style cottages under the newly-enacted Housing and Town Planning (Scotland) Act of 1919. In difficult economic circumstances, Scottish local authorities managed to build 25,000 houses throughout the country and voluntary bodies produced another 500.  Although these outputs were seen to be disappointing in quantitative terms, the general standard of accommodation was highly impressive in terms of quality.  Virtually all of the 1919 Act housing has been well cared for over the years, and the best developments have become symbols of the aims and achievements of the ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ campaign for better living conditions.

Foreword by Richard Rodger, Professor of Economic and Social History, University of Edinburgh

Lou Rosenburg is an honorary fellow based at the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies, University of Edinburgh. He is the co-author of two previous books, Renewing Old Edinburgh: The Enduring Legacy of Patrick Geddes (Argyll Publishing, 2010) with Jim Johnson, and Urban Housing Policy (APS Publications, 1975) with William G. Grigsby.

Published in association with the Scottish Centre for Conservation  Studies based at the University of Edinburgh.

This publication is supported by Historic Environment Scotland  and The Strathmartine Trust.    

Price: £14.99 (softcover) ISBN: 978-0-9930544-2-6 Extent: 256 pages, full colour throughout.

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