Archive | culture change

Andrés Duany at Holyrood

I don’t wish to sound like a sycophant, but I’d been waiting a while to hear renowned US architect-planner Andrés Duany in person. Watching him on youtube and reading about him in The Guardian is okay, but doesn’t compare to the real thing. He isn’t, arguably, the West’s most famous planner of the moment for […]

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brasilitius | a British disease too ?

Brasilitius: the clinical condition for civil servants living in Brasilia, who have work, home… and nothing else. ‘A beautiful plan, but an abject human failure’, to quote Professor James C Scott of Yale University at his recent lecture in Glasgow, kindly hosted by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Prof. Scott’s premise was that large […]

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building in flexibility

Have you noticed how many projects have built-in obsolescence? Public realm schemes are a good source of examples, where soon after the redesigned street layout has been built it becomes clear that the design solves some problems but creates others – but it is so “fixed” that it can’t be easily changed in response. Paisley […]

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cutting down the paper overload

Well said, planning lawyer Stephen Ashworth! His call for the planning profession to cut down on paper overload in this week’s Planning magazine is a point well made. The argument that Stephen puts forward in his article is simple: Planning is overwhelmed by unnecessary information. Decisions are often delayed by the need to plough through […]

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Glasgow in 2057

What will Glasgow look like in 2057? The visions of budding young architects from Glasgow School of Art are offered at an exhibition this week, the culmination of an intensive 5 week project which, in the words of the course leader Fred Harvey, is “challenging 60 of the brightest young minds in one of the […]

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young planners

The Royal Town Planning Institute’s 2007 Young Planners Conference was held in Glasgow. Being chairman of Planning Aid for Scotland was apparently enough for the organisers to invite me to contribute a piece to a panel session entitled “Climate change: making a difference”. Taking a broad definition of climate, here’s what I talked about to […]

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Global Cities at the Tate Modern

The Global Cities exhibition at the Tate Modern proves that the public can be engaged in thorny questions of future planning strategy. It poses really big questions about the future of cities – diversity, community cohesion, density, coping with growth. Although it doesn’t suggest many answers, that doesn’t appear to be its objective. Just getting […]

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