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'Piazzadilly!': the re-imagining of Piccadilly Circus (1957-72)

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Abstract:

Between 1957 and 1972, Piccadilly Circus was the object of a series of major plans and comprehensive redevelopment proposals that would have fundamentally transformed the character of this key central London site. The Piccadilly plans have conventionally been seen as part of an assault by modernist planners and property speculators on the established cityscape. Drawing upon recent perspectives that treat plans as both fantasies of metropolitan life and as complex events, this article argues that the unbuilt plans for Piccadilly were more complicated and contested responses to contemporary attitudes towards the city. The article also argues that these visions altered significantly between the late 1950s and the end of the 1960s, particularly in their responses to flows and movement in the city, and their accommodations of the new consumer cultures of the period.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02665430802319013

Affiliations: 1: School of the Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK 2: Social and Cultural Geography Research Group, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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