Sir Raymond Unwin (1863 - 1940)



Was one of the most important figures in town planning and housing standards.

A man who could combined his technical skills and grasp of sociological issues with his ability to communicate his ideas.

A man who loved pure clean design , and who would go out of his way not to destroy natural beauty , but remained equally aware of the needs of economics , or social psychology.

After Letchworth his achievements continued...

1909 - In response to the pressure by Unwin and others to bring in legislation to bring the new residential standards into more general use the First Housing and Town Planning Act was passed. This enabled local authorities to regulate suburban development's layout and density.

( One of the first schemes prepared was for Ruislip Northwood. Thomas Adams was Principal Planning Inspector at the Local Government Board and Unwin was a consultant to the principal owner of the land ).







Unwin publishes "Town Planning in Practice" as a text book reviewing historic towns and residential development and putting forward his arguements on housing density and layout.

1910 - Organized International Town Planning Exhibition and Conference promoted by R.I.B.A (Royal Institute of British Architects).

1911-1914 - First Lecturer in Town Planning at Birmingham University as a result of a grant from the Cadbury family.

1913 - One of the founders of the Town Planning Institute (Led by Thomas Adams)

1914 - Partnership with Parker dissolved. Unwin becomes Chief Town Planning Inspector to the Local Government Board when invited to do so by Sir Herbert Samuel, after Thomas Adams left for Canada.

1915 - One of the founders of the League of Nations Society

1915-1916 - President of the Town Planning Institute

1915-1918 - Director of Housing, Ministry of Munitions responsible for housing munnitions workers in remote areas. A plan for development at Gretna and Eastriggs was prepared with Crickmer as site architect. Gretna can claim to be the first state assisted new town.

1918 Served on the Tudor Walters Committee, writing much of its report pressing for a state subsidised housing programme, with standards and densities of housing based on those of the Garden City.







1919 Housing Act enacts the Tudor Walters Report and establishes the Ministry of Health as the department responsible for housing and public health. Unwin appointed Chief Housing Architect at the Ministry of Health.

1922 - Invited to America by Russell Sage Foundation to consult on the New York Regional Plan to be directed by Thomas Adams.

1925 - Attended meeting of the International Town, City and Regional Planning and Garden Cities Congress , and addressed the national meeting of the American Institute of Architects (Both in New York)

1927 - Wythenshaw Sattelite City begun for Manchester by Barry Parker

1928-1931 - President of the International Federation for Housing and Town Planning , following the death of Sir Ebenezer Howard. Retired from Ministry of Health in 1928.

1929-1933 - Chief Technical Adviser to the Greater London Region Planning Committee affecting Greater London Plans of 1943-1945.

1931-1933 - President of R.I.B.A.

1932 Knighted

1933-1934 - Chairman of the British Building Research Board

1934 - Prepared major part of a report on low cost housing, presented to N.A.H.O. following a six week tour of the United States at the invitation of the National Association of Housing Officials. He and several companions toured over a dozen major cities. The report would have influenced major New Deal legislation of 1935 regarding slum clearance and greenbelt towns.

1935 - LL.D. from Manchester University

1936-1940 - Visiting Professor in the Planning and Housing Division of Columbia University, also lecturing at Cornell and massachussetts Institute of Technology.

1937 - Recieved Gold Medal of the R.I.B.A.

1937 - Awarded honorary doctorate by Harvard University

1938 - Received Howard Memorial Medal of the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association

1939 - Appointed Chief British Delegate to the International Congress of Archhitects in Washington by Neville Chamberlain. Unwin went to Washington but war conditions caused meeting to be cancelled.

1940 - Died at the summer home of his daughter , Mrs Curtice Hitchcock at Old lyme, Connecticut on June 28th at the age of 76.

I hope to find more about Unwin to fill in more details.


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