The changing economic climate led to renewed thinking about suitable approaches to the design of the central city. The above statement, taken from an advisory paper jointly published in 1962 by the two ministries most closely involved in remaking the city, showed that the rebranding exercise outlined in Chapter 5 was underway. Like other rebranding exercises, it spoke by definition to an older, tired agenda – in this case, the need for cities to respond to society’s present-day needs while retaining their character and identity. What made the task qualitatively different from the past was the new agenda of technology and change. Although the authors’ wording counselled respect for the city’s historic character and paid lip service to rhetoric about the social purpose embodied in reconstruction, there was no doubt that change was the expectation or even the norm. It was assumed that the necessary change would come through adopting a scientific approach based on an expert and ‘objective appraisal of the town centre as it is today’.2 It would involve dispassionate assessment of the town’s function in relation to others in the same
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but renewal clearly rested on two premises: accepting public-private partnerships as a normal part of the redevelopment process and adopting radical rethinking towards the replanning of roads.