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Thompson, William Harding

William Harding Thompson (1887-1976) was a British architect and President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, although his work on rural planning was perhaps of greater importance. He wrote a number of surveys of (and planning proposals for) English county authorities in the 1930s for the then newly created Council for the Preservation of Rural England (today known as the CPRE, The Countryside Charity), these included a number of delightful maps, mainly of counties and regions within southern England. The CPRE was formed in 1926 by Sir Patrick Abercrombie (q.v.) to limit urban sprawl and ribbon development; it has influenced public policy relating to town and country planning in England, most notably in the formation of the National Parks and AONBs in 1949, and of green belts in 1955. Thompson worked closely with John Gordon Dower, whose work led directly to the creation of National parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) after World War 2.