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

Bronwen Edwards, David Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-478
Number of pages24
JournalPlanning Perspectives
Issue number4
Early online date18 Sept 2008
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • London
  • urban imaginary
  • urban planning
  • traffic
  • consumption
  • property speculation
  • Urban History

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