Saturday, January 01, 2011

Knowle West regeneration | This is Bristol

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Good report in the Post on plans to demolish many homes in Knowle West under the banner 'regeneration' (extract below*) - showing that with few exceptions the buildings are not defective. Reminds me of a quote in Robert Goodman's After the Planners (1972). He describes a placard from 1967 which said,

No war declared
No storm had flared
No sudden bomb so cruel
Just a need for land
A greedy hand
And a sign that said "urban renewal"

Goodman believed that the interests of communities in cities were ignored and suppressed. The fundamental theme of "After the Planners" is the notion that planning and architecture are not ends in themselves, but instead exist to meet the needs of real people. Huge-scale urban construction projects, invariably serve to trivialise the importance of the individual in the urban landscape (more here). I hope that the community of Knowle West is not ignored and in particular that the 'greedy hand' rferred to on the placard is absent from the regeneration plans.

Knowle West regeneration This is Bristol

*Only one out of 192 homes threatened with demolition as part of the Knowle West regeneration scheme has any major defect, it has been revealed.
The council is considering five options on the Knowle West Regeneration plan, which could see up to 1,000 homes demolished as part of a £1 billion investment scheme.
Public consultation carried out earlier this year has shown that the majority of people in the area prefer the residents' own option of infilling the estate with new homes.
Residents have obtained a stock report on the condition of properties in the
Inns Court area...