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Introduction

In the 1950s Newcastle was known as a sleep city, Dan described it as “moribund” (1) decades had past and very little economic development had taken place between that time frame and families were left to suffer. In 1959, T. Dan Smith became Leader of Newcastle City Council, he set up his own independent planning department in the council and appointed Wilfred Burns as chief officer in 1960. They both wanted to re-modernise Newcastle for the better by undertaking new road plans to resolve the traffic congestion that plagued the city and breath new life into the city by clearing out the slum areas and rebuilding new homes to help improve peoples living conditions. One way Smith helped promote his grand scheme was through a series of models and held public gatherings to help fuel his passion to help change Newcastle, a method used by Richard Grainger who greatly strengthened Newcastle’s status as a regional capital. In order to achieve Grainger’s equivalent he set out to get renowned architects to develop the city, like Le Corbusier , Basil Spence, Leslie Martin, Robert Matthew and even Picasso to help reinforce his vision for the future “Brasilia of the North” (2). In this essay I will closely examine T. Dan Smith’s proposed plans for the new urban motorway system, that would help solve the traffic problem. Also the redevelopment of Eldon Sqaure that would come under scrutiny, but would later become a commercial success. I will also investigate the new Civic Centre that replaced the Old Town Hall and the intention from the local authorities to demolish the Royal Arcade and replace it with a roundabout.The idea of increasing newcastle’s regional importance by elevating Newcastle’s status as a commercial retail centre…

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…le upon Tyne city centre 1959-68, Planning Perspectives . 16 (2), p115-141.

(5)Taylor and Francis as: Pendlebury, J, Alas Smith and Burns. (2001). Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne City Centre 1959- 1968. Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre 1959-68, Planning Perspectives . 16 (2), p15-17.

(6) Taylor and Francis as: Pendlebury, J, Alas Smith and Burns. (2001). Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne City Centre 1959- 1968. Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre 1959-68, Planning Perspectives . 16 (2), p15-17.

(7)Taylor and Francis as: Pendlebury, J, Alas Smith and Burns. (2001). Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne City Centre 1959- 1968. Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre 1959-68, Planning Perspectives . 16 (2), p15-17.

(8)Chris Foote Wood (2010). T Dan Smith “VOICE OF THE NORTH” Downfall of a Visionary. Durham: Chris Foote Wood. p92-93

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