The Metropolitan Village

  • F. I. Masser
  • D. C. Stroud


On the outskirts of all large conurbations pressures of residential development are mounting rapidly as people move out from the older built-up areas to new and improved surroundings. This large scale movement, either publicly controlled overspill or voluntary migration, is generally to existing towns or new townships lying within or near the periphery of the conurbation. A growing proportion of this movement is to smaller settlements lying within the green belt or near the edges of existing development. These settlements are often old villages which have a pleasant rural character. The movement of population into them presents, on a small scale, some planning problems which, it is felt, deserve more consideration than they are given today. Many villages possess an environmental quality that is worth keeping and which is one of the main forces attracting people to live in them. The questions of how big they can grow and what forms of new development should be permitted are closely bound up with the problem of how to preserve their special character. There is here an opportunity for sensitive and imaginative design; and also for an exercise in quantitive assessment to determine how large a village can grow before it becomes a town. This study is largely concerned with the second of these problems.


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  1. I. This paper is based on the studies of three villages lying in the Wirral Peninsula on the south side of the River Mersey. The studies were carried out in the Department of Civic Design, University of Liverpool by postgraduate students.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a further discussion of definitions see above in the Introduction (ed).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Since the original publication of this article there has appeared R. Lawton and C. M. Cunningham (eds). Merseyside: social and economic studies (Longman. 1970), which includes chapters on the population and social structure of the conurbation; and on migration, with special emphasis on the spiralist community of Formby.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. I. Masser
  • D. C. Stroud

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