(MA Photography and Urban Cultures, Goldsmiths College 2013-14)

London’s Protected Views: what can be learnt about the ‘image of the city’ through the vistas it designates to protect?

The full thesis can be accessed in PDF here.

London looms large in the global visual consciousness. Arguably one of a small number of ‘world cities’, London has developed and promoted a distinct and recognisable visual identity that forms a significant part of the cultural, political and economic expression of the city within a global context. In the city of London, this visual identity is partly defined by the introduction of a specific piece of urban planning policy which manages a selection of carefully defined views of and within the city. Whilst the practice of protecting specific buildings for their heritage significance is widely known and understood, I would argue that the concept of a ‘Protected View’ remains largely unfamiliar to those outside the architectural and planning industry. As an architect and visual practitioner, I have a deep interest in how historical, political and cultural concerns can be expressed through the visual appearance of urban space. The process of describing and defining views within London which are deemed worthy of protection is one way in which complex concepts are consolidated into a single visual relationship.
— Sally Hart, Masters Thesis, MA PUC 2013-14