GROUND CONTROL Fear and happiness in the twenty-first-century city


Anna Minton

Britons are increasingly aware of living in a society plagued by fear and unhappiness. Even when actual levels of crime are reduced, the fear of crime is up. In Ground Control Anna Minton sets out on a journey around Britain to answer the questions, how did this happen and what could we do about it? From Manchester, which hands out more ASBOS than other city, to Liverpool, 'City of Culture', gated communities to sink estates, this is a frank and excoriating look at the effect that property and planning have on our lives - often in unexpected ways. More new spaces are being created in British towns than at any time since the Second World War. But they're all privately owned and privately controlled, and they are changing not only the very fabric of our cities, but our understanding of public space, of citizenship, of fear and of trust. Anna Minton reaches out to all those affected by these changes. From home owners to kids on ASBOs, policemen to estate agents, Ground Control explores the psychological effects our shared spaces have upon us, and shows us how alternative models produce cultures of greater happiness.