Since he is such a loyal and knowledgeable commentator on my blog, I have been reading the book that Mark Fisher wrote jointly with Richard Rogers and published in 1992, presumably as a prelude to the General Election which Labour was expecting to win. It is interesting being reminded of a period when London was lagging far behind the municipal planning of European cities, with no grand projets and a sense of general decay and decline in its public realm, not least in Hoxton which is used as a case study. Much of what they advocated has now been implemented (one wonders how much as a result of their passionate advocacy): better use of the river; a greater interest in architecture; more international competitions; bicycle lanes. There is a Mayor with responsibility for co-ordinating policy in the boroughs. There are more street markets. Cultural institutions have been renovated through the lottery. Schools have been renovated through central government funding. Now the big issue is affordable housing, which was a big problem then and a bigger, more intractable problem now.
One thought on “The New London”
That’s kind of you, Charles. But although the situation in London IS considerably better now there is still much to be done : the Thames is still a hugely underused asset; London still turns its back on the river; there is development, but no coherence (A New London urged a Riverside Park, from Richmond to the Barrage ); and there still is no coherent Government policy on Architecture.