The pandemic provides us with time to reflect on the kind of world we have been building. Do we continue to treat the planet and its resources as commodities to be traded for our own benefit or do we re-emerge after the crisis with a different set of priorities?
Climate Change is the world’s least exciting pandemic. In so many places it has become the norm, not least because it discriminates. The pain is most acute if you live in a less affluent country, and then more so if you’re in poverty.
The Liverpool City Plan (aka The Shankland Plan)
First floor plan, Markthal in Rotterdam, by MVRDV
Behaviour Change programmes have for some time been relied on to encourage people to do things that, rather obviously, they aren’t currently doing. This is often a difficult task, as people normally have reasons for behaving the way they do, behaviours that are, in essence, the result of an environment which has invited us to act in certain ways
Llandudno – Eligible Leasehold Building Land, On Sale On the Gloddaeth Estate, Auction on 28 & 29 August, 1849
San Francisco Plan, 1905, Daniel H. Burnham
As they grow, Cities extend the advantages of urban living to more and more people. The responsibility of City authorities is to nurture this growth in order that society should continue to flourish, and further develop. To that end, I would argue that some of the City’s goals are to keep people from dying, to solve inequalities, to drive shared prosperity, to help people get around, and to build safe, beautiful places as a canvas on which life can unfold.
“Children are a kind of indicator species, if we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for everyone.” I have been thinking a lot recently about how we can better shape cities, to improve the way in which children can engage with them - creating streets and spaces that are safe and enjoyable.
Birmingham 1344-5, drawn by George Demidowicz
Parc de la Villette, Paris, ©Bernard Tschumi Architects
First National Bank of Boston map of Buenos Aires
Taunton Vision 2005
Evolving Lobtau, Reviving the town for Dresden
Josef Kleihues’ masterplan for Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
London Underground Map, 1992
Apart from stealing the title of Martin Creed's exhibition at the Hayward Gallery a few years ago, I wanted to collect my thoughts on the power that cities and the public realm have over our health, happiness and prosperity.