Image of theatre: Courtesy of Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Improving towns

Parliament has had an immensely important influence in the way towns have developed since the 18th century.

Initially legislation was tailored to meet the needs of individual towns. But from the mid-19th century, poor housing and living conditions in most towns and cities required responses from Parliament applicable to the nation as a whole.

From the early 20th century Parliament has been keen to use fresh thinking in legislation relating to ways of planning new urban environments.

Key dates

Key dates

Here you can trace the main turning points in Parliament's role in controlling town development

Contemporary context

Contemporary context

How the UK's communities are planned and developed is still closely scrutinized by Parliament

Further your research

Further your research

Further information about how Parliament has brought change and improvement to Britain's towns can be found in the following studies

Tyne and Wear Case Study

Find out about how public health improved in Sunderland over the nineteenth century and the role played by Parliament and local people.v

Related information

Current parliamentary business on the topic of housing and planning