Our studio in 2011-12 at The Cass investigated London's shopping centres. The online catalogue can be accessed here.
In 2008, as the UK government borrowed £400 billion in response to the global banking crisis, the Westfield Group opened a new type of urban shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush; 150,000 square metres of retail space for 265 shops.
In 2011, after widespread rioting and looting in London, the Westfield Group opened the largest urban shopping centre in Europe in Stratford. The £1.4 billion development provided 175,000 square metres of retail space for over 300 shops anchored by John Lewis, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer.
Next to the new Westfield was the Stratford Centre, built in the 1970s. It provided just over 30,000 square metres of retail space and contained branches of both Poundland and 99p Stores.
“Even though shopping overwhelms other activities in number and scale, it is also the most unstable, the most short-lived, and most vulnerable to the threat of decline and obsolescence” Harvard Project on the City