That radical mode of emptying that has yet to be touched upon: destruction.
The City was heavily bombed during the war, and by the end of the period much of the site was entirely razed.  But it was precisely this blank canvas state and the City’s readiness to fund a large mixed-use project that enabled the boldness of the Barbican redevelopment.

It was a more trusting time. The Barbican was built pretty much exactly the way its architects wanted it, all influences intact: complete with serrated triangular-plan skyscrapers and lots - though not enough - good landscaping. It was and is a manifesto statement against suburban sprawl.
 Hugh Pearman (full article: http://www.hughpearman.com/articles3/barbican.html)

1945 SURVEY Hatched areas denote buildings still standing

Area in red indicates position of the Barbican Centre and Moorfields Highwalk (to the right) 
AN AERIAL VIEW from 1945 demonstrates the scale of destruction

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