What might have been


This aspect of our project is an exercise in counter-factual history. It asks what might have happened to these green spaces if certain plans had come to fruition. The four plans we are currently aware of:

  • In the 1920s, there was a proposal to build a concert hall (intended to rival Leicester’s De Montfort Hall) on the Arboretum.
  • In 1943 Nottingham’s Reconstruction Committee proposed a post-war Civic Centre development (see proposed map, right) which would have both altered, and extended, Nottingham Arboretum.
  • In the 1960s, a new Traffic Plan for Nottingham would have seen dual carriageways of traffic overlooking both the General Cemetery and the north side of the Arboretum.
  • In the 1990s and early 2000s, there were proposals to build a swimming pool and leisure centre on part of The Forest.

We are interested in exploring, among other things, how the plans of these different periods reflected the differing civic priorities of their times. What were their supposed benefits and costs? To what extent were they contested?

We’d also like to locate as many of the original models and architects drawings and proposals as we can.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any information or materials that might be useful on this topic, or if you’d like to get involved with researching this topic.