Any flavour as long as it’s Pizza Express

In January, I wrote an article for Time Out about something that’s been worrying me for a while: how chain restaurants are devouring the streets of London. During the construction boom, big “mixed use” schemes that claimed to be transforming vast swathes of the city were all the rage. What developers didn’t mention was that they would be transforming everywhere into exactly the same place. Now you walk through New Street Square and it’s almost identical to Bankside, and Spitalfields, and the South Bank, and Paternoster Square… I took to the streets to find out why developers display such a depressing, and dangerous, lack of imagination.