Place making needs to be a continuous process

That is what Sainsbury’s has just discovered in relation to recreation grounds in Bristol, donated after the First World War, but now being redeveloped by the supermarket chain that is running a Christmas advertisement based on that very war.Margaret Thatcher never grasped how deeply offensive it was to Londoners when she flogged off County Hall as though it were a warehouse estate, when in fact it was a municipal landmark paid for by public subscription.Contrast this shoddy behaviour with that of the Duke of Westminster when faced with financial problems in respect of the Liverpool One town centre scheme. Not a fix in time, writes Paul Finch
Not surprisingly, people get very cross when buildings and places that have been paid for by public subscription end up in private hands with no interest in history nor the moral obligations that might be attached. Not that this implies an architectural or planning attitude stuck in the ideas of yesteryear – far from it. A magnificent city, it deliberately chose to make modernity its touchstone in the post-Second World War reconstruction programme, which followed its near-destruction by bombing. However, the Farrell Review concluded that there was still much to be achieved, and more than 80 organisations are signed up to promoting it in an initiative being organised by University College London. Take the case of Rotterdam, for example. Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment. Consumption of the obsolete should be a treat, not a regular diet. It could take as some sort of precedent the Van Nelle factory from the 1920s, which survived the war and is now a Unesco world heritage site. That combination of old and new is often what keeps a place alive, rather than existing as a tourist destination to contemplate how nobody lives or works any more. He did not, instead fulfilling what he saw as a family obligation to the North West, carried out since its arrival with the Normans, to leave the environment better than he found it. The academy held an excellent ceremony in London last week, attended by representatives from all three cities. There were also UK awards for Aberystwyth, Holbeck and St Pancras, and the whole event, compered by academy chairman Steve Bee, was a reminder that places are about people as much as their architecture.Place-making is a word that has become fashionable in recent years, with the last Labour government making it the heart of heritage and regeneration policy.

Updated: 20.11.2014 — 10:29