There's still time to sign up for all or part of Cityscape 2005: The Future of Britain's Cities, Towns and Suburbs, a conference and exhibition at the Business Design Centre, London N1, on 20-21 September. The two days are split into 25 different sessions, which can be booked individually. Some timeworn topics are on the agenda - sustainable development, liveable neighbourhoods, designing against crime, public art - but perhaps the speakers will say something new. They include ODPM director general of sustainable communities Richard McCarthy, English Partnerships' corporate strategy director Trevor Beattie, and Landscape Institute president Kathryn Moore. Also appearing is American landscape architect Martha Schwartz, who seems to be becoming a fixture in the UK, though to judge by the majority of schemes in the recent monograph on her work (AJ 20.5.04), that might not be such a good thing. For details, visit www. cityscapeonline. com.
A wry perspective on the contemporary city, both humorous and bleak, comes in A8, an exhibition of photographs by Martin Parr at The Lighthouse, Glasgow, from 17 September-3 November (www. thelighthouse. co. uk).
They've been made in collaboration with John McAslan, who grew up near the A8 (which runs out of Glasgow on the south side of the River Clyde) and 'still has a great affection for the place'. McAslan describes the images as 'a celebration of life along the A8', though most viewers will probably find them more equivocal. Pictured is Fancy Farm, near Greenock.
Paolo Soleri continues to slowly realise his personal vision for a city at Arcosanti, Arizona. Construction of a town for 5,000 began in 1970, with solar-collector greenhouses and various other buildings set to occupy just 25 of the site's 4,060 acres. The guiding concept is 'Arcology' (a mix of architecture and ecology), which will be one focus of An Evening with Paolo Soleri, a TV link-up with the Cosanti Foundation, to be held at the Architectural Association in London on 15 September - visit www. concretecentre. com/ events to register. Soleri's website, www. arcosanti. org, explains more about his ideas on urban planning and construction, and includes a slide show on what's been built so far.