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Collections of oral history covering the 20th century completes a picture that is described in detail in another article.Bletchley Park, the site of World War II British codebreaking and Colossus, the world's first programmable electronic digital computer, is a major component of MK's modern history.Top to bottom, left to right: The Xscape and Theatre seen from Campbell Park, former railway works and new housing in Wolverton, Milton Keynes Central railway station, the Central Milton Keynes skyline, The Church of Christ the Cornerstone and Bletchley's high street "Queensway" (34 sq mi) area incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton, and Stony Stratford, along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between.It took its name from the existing village of Milton Keynes, a few miles east of the planned centre.From 2004 to 2011 a Government quango, the Milton Keynes Partnership, had development control powers to accelerate the growth of Milton Keynes.Along with many other towns and boroughs, Milton Keynes competed for formal city status in the 2000, 20 competitions, but was not successful.At the 2011 census, the population of the Milton Keynes urban area, including the adjacent Newport Pagnell and Woburn Sands, was 229,941.

In the modernist Miesian tradition is the Shopping Building designed by Stuart Mosscrop and Christopher Woodward, a grade II listed building, which the Twentieth Century Society inter alia regards as the 'most distinguished' twentieth century retail building in Britain.Nevertheless, the term "city" is generally used by its citizens, local media and bus services to describe itself, perhaps because the term "town" is taken to mean one of the constituent towns.Road signs refer to "Central Milton Keynes" or "Shopping" when directing traffic to its centre.It is now a flourishing heritage attraction, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.The concepts that heavily influenced the design of the town are described in detail in article urban planning – see 'cells' under Planning and aesthetics (referring to grid squares). Since the radical plan form and large scale of Milton Keynes attracted international attention, early phases of development include work by celebrated architects, including Sir Richard Mac Cormac, Lord Norman Foster, Henning Larsen, Ralph Erskine, John Winter, and Martin Richardson.

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