Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Replanning London after the Second World War

Professor Peter Larkham

London was, during the Second World War, the largest and most obvious target, and the most badly-bombed city in the country. Ideas about rebuilding began very early, even during the Blitz itself. The number, scale and variety of plans was large, ranging from the “informal” – produced by individuals, and probably more for promoting themselves than as serious contributions, and a range of organisations – to the “formal”, produced by Borough Councils and other authorities, by their own staff or eminent consultants. Central Government was also involved, in urging some authorities to make plans, in recommending consultants, and in commissioning large-scale plans.

The hierarchy of official plans (for the City, County and Greater London) were the culmination of ideas about city structure, function and design, as well as approaches to planning, that had been developing before the war. They were hugely influential elsewhere in Britain and, through various forms of promotion, elsewhere in the world. This talk will explore the range of plans, what was proposed, and the gap between proposals and what was eventually – often years or decades later – actually built.

This lecture will be delivered as a part of the 2015 City of London Festival.

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Peter Larkham is Professor of Planning at Birmingham City University. He has researched and published extensively in post-war urban reconstruction, urban form and urban conservation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society. He has edited two recent books on post-war reconstruction: The Blitz and its Legacy: Wartime destruction to Post-War Reconstruction, edited with Mark Clapson; and Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction, edited with John Pendlebury and Erdem Erten.

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7 July 2015

Replanning London after the Second World War
Professor Peter Larkham

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