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Empty cities have long been a post-apocalyptic trope – now, they are a reality

By Paul Dobraszczyk, Lecturer in Architecture, UCL
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Carry out a Google image search of the phrase “28 Days Later” and among the many stills and publicity images for the 2002 horror film, one will find a scattering of photographs of London taken during the first COVID-19 lockdown in late March and early April 2020.

At that time, some Londoners described the emptiness of the city as feeling “like the apocalypse or a scene from 28 Days Later”. The comparison of life to art, it seemed, was obvious, exerting an eerie, uncanny effect.

Dead cities are enduring…

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