Thomas, Verlie Robinson, 1901-1978

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Thomas Sharp was a key figure in town planning in the mid-twentieth century. The concepts he developed in his writings and plans have been of enduring significance and influence on thinking about planning and design for both practitioners and academics in the UK and beyond. He was a major influence on the development of ideas of townscape and the significance of his thinking on historic cities stands comparison with, for example, Camillo Sitte.

The mid-twentieth century was a period when public and professional interest in planning was at an all-time high. Sharp was a key figure in defining thinking about the forms that town and countryside should take; in reconciling existing and valued character with modernity, and; in making these arguments accessible. His book Town Planning (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1940) is the most widely-read ever on the subject and followed earlier influential polemical works. The plans he produced in the 1940s, primarily for historic cities such as Oxford, Exeter and Durham, were also hugely influential and are significant aesthetic artefacts in the history of plan-making, all the more remarkable for being produced in a period of austerity.

Interest in Sharp and his ideas has grown markedly in recent years with, for example, the rise of 'New Urbanism' in the USA and of the significance of design issues in UK planning. Furthermore, there is a new-wave of scholarly interest in the post-war reconstruction planning and architecture of the mid-twentieth century as a distinctive period in planning and design, particularly focused around reconstruction plans and their partial implementation.

From the guide to the Thomas Sharp papers, 1932-1984, (Newcastle University)

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creatorOf Thomas Sharp papers, 1932-1984 Newcastle University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abercrombie Sir Leslie Patrick 1879-1957 person
associatedWith Betjeman Sir John 1906-1984 person
associatedWith Christ Church Meadow (Oxford, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Edwards Tristan person
associatedWith Harris Muriel person
associatedWith Holford William Graham 1907-1975 person
associatedWith Krner Wilhem person
associatedWith Nemes George person
associatedWith Roberts David person
associatedWith Scott Sir Leslie Frederic person
associatedWith Sharp Thomas 1901-1978 person
associatedWith William Ellis Clough person
Place Name Admin Code Country
City planning Great Britain History 20th century


Birth 1901

Death 1978



Ark ID: w62098p4

SNAC ID: 29553343