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The Life and Death of the Shopping City: Public Planning and Private Redevelopment in Britain since 1945

How have British cities changed in the years since the Second World War? And what drove this transformation? This innovative new history traces the development of the post-war British city, from the 1940s era of reconstruction, through the rise and fall of modernist urban renewal, up to the present-day crisis of high street retailing and central area economies.

Alistair Kefford
13 June 2022
Cambridge University Press

Alistair Kefford shows how planners, property developers, councils and retailers worked together to create the modern shopping city, remaking the physical fabric, economy and experience of cities around this retail-driven developmental model. This book also offers a wider social history of mass affluence, showing how cities were transformed to meet the perceived demands of a society of shoppers, and why this effort was felt to be so urgent in an era of urban deindustrialisation. By bringing the story of the shopping city right up to its present-day crisis and collapse, Kefford makes clear how the historical trajectories traced in this book continue powerfully to shape urban Britain today.

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