|By Welshleprechaun - Wikimedia Commons|
Until the 1960s, Byker was a Victorian working-class area of densely-built terraces. Much of the housing needed major repair and some was considered unfit for human habitation (many houses lacked bathrooms), yet most residents wanted to stay in Byker, an area close to industry on the riverside. In the 1960s Newcastle City Corporation took the decision to redevelop the Byker area. The council aimed to clear the slums but keep the community.
Architect Ralph Erskine was appointed as the architect in 1969 for the new Byker. The development was run as a "rolling programme" so local people could continue living in the area during the building work. Residents were involved in the design process and it is thought the outstanding success of Byker was as much to do with this as its innovative architecture.
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The above information was obtained from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byker