World City: 1950s-today
This map highlights some key items of interest in the World City gallery. Further information on this gallery is available below. Click the grey shapes to find out more about our highlight objects.
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By the 1950s London’s status was fading as the world’s most powerful city. But change was turning London into a new kind of world city. A youth revolution and a multi-cultural revolution played out on the streets as Londoners absorbed new values and claimed new rights.
Download printable World City gallery plan (PDF, 53KB)
This gallery covers the following themes:
Between 1950 and 2000 Londoners changed London. London became famous for the extraordinary diversity of its street style. Londoners became more multi-cultural than ever before. The young became more assertive about individual freedoms and rights.
London’s economy went through troubled times in the 1960s and 1970s as it adjusted to a new era of globalization. London lost ¾ million manufacturing jobs between 1961 and 1981. Old skills became redundant as new technology changed the nature of people’s work. Money began to surge through the City of London as the banking and financial service industries took over from the docks as the drivers of London’s wealth.
In 1950 television was something new. It was recommended that children watch no more than one hour of television per day. Toys and games were simple compared to today’s, although plastic and batteries were beginning to be used. London’s children had a greater choice of things to play with than ever before as cheap, mass-produced toys became more available.
London’s challenges are universal, but they are also particular to London and shaped by the city’s past. Here you can explore some of London’s current concerns. If today’s challenges are shaped by the past, how will today’s choices change the London of tomorrow?