Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Design Studies

Committee Chair

Barbara McFall

Committee Co-Chair

Kathryn Burton

Committee Member

Michael Dougherty

Committee Member

Ronald E. Dulaney, Jr

Committee Member

Jennifer Selin


English market towns greatly reflect British culture through unique traditions, architecture, and other characteristics. Market towns are often secluded from the outside world, located in rural areas of England with less significant roadways and very few railways leading into the towns. Despite the charming facade of market towns, challenges in contemporary society and the expansion of cities throughout the 20th century have swamped these rural communities, threatening their historical character and initiating problems such as forced growth, increased housing, and urbanization.;This study seeks to better understand the experiences and perspectives of the individuals and organizations dealing with change in an English market town. Employing the Learning History methodology developed at MIT, community involvement in planning and change efforts in Buckingham, England, from 1967- 2011 are examined through the narrative of key stakeholders, with specific emphasis on issues of growth, urban sprawl, and the decline of the historic downtown area. The resulting narrative has the potential to inform new stakeholders participating in current and future market town processes. Ideally, this transfer of knowledge will serve locally to smooth transitions and sustain a productive change process in Buckingham.