I’m interested by the new policy of the City to try and attract visitors at the weekend (see below) because, of course, it has done everything in its power over the last ten years to damage, if not destroy, its historical character: big high-rise office blocks loom over the streets blocking out the daylight; they are planning to destroy the old Museum of London building instead of turning it into something exciting; the plans for the future of the Barbican are not exactly reassuring; the Custom House could become something exciting on the riverfront, but there is no evidence of any imagination in the plans for its future.
So, what is Chris Hayward to do to get people back into the City ? I think the key will be the plans for the Barbican to be developed by Allies and Morrison. They should be extended to include the old Museum of London and the area round Smithfield Market. They should involve young architects in developing ideas. They should turn Smithfield Market into a mega-food hall. They should make the Museum of London into a Museum of Photography. They should be imaginative and creative instead of aggressively commercial. But that might require a lobotomy of the City’s planning authority, turning in the opposite direction from the one they have been so actively pursuing.
It’s like Boston in 1980.