The Bartlett School of Architecture


Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture

Remaking London


Between the slum clearances of the early 20th century and debates about the post-Olympic city, the drive to 'regenerate' London has intensified. Yet today, with a focus on increasing land values, regeneration schemes purporting to foster diverse and creative new neighbourhoods typically displace precisely the qualities, activities and communities they claim to support. In Remaking London Ben Campkin provides a lucid and stimulating historical account of urban regeneration, exploring how decline and renewal have been imagined and realised at different scales. Focussing on present-day regeneration areas that have been key to the capital's modern identity, Campkin explores how these places have been stigmatised through identification with material degradation, and spatial and social disorder. Drawing on diverse sources – including journalism, photography, cinema, theatre, architectural design, advertising and television – he illuminates how ideas of decline drive urban change.


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Building Design
'Thoughtful and timely… an invaluable text'.

LSE Review of Books
'a skillful historical account of the intertwined aesthetic, moral, social, and political projects that have been pursued in the name of regeneration… a crucial intervention into contemporary debates about urbanism'.

Urban Times
'Beautifully written, Remaking London provides a powerful critique of the contradictions of contemporary schemes, refreshingly 'un-academic' in tone, yet carefully researched'.

The Geographical
'a beautifully crafted book and a jolly good read'.

Image Credits

(01) Book cover.

(02) 'The Women's Library, London', 2012. © Ben Campkin. 

(03) 'Metro Central Heights, London', 2009. © Ben Campkin.


London regeneration urbanism