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London calling

Not surprisingly, reports from the London mayoral debate on architecture concentrated on whether or not the Richard Rogers Architecture and Urbanism Unit would survive. All one can say is that, were it to be abolished on political grounds, it would have to be reinvented, since it does an important job in spotting problems and suggesting solutions in the gaps between policies and geographical areas. Actually this discussion did not take up much of the debate, run under the auspices of the Architecture Foundation, and was a relatively jolly affair. Lib Dem Simon Hughes ran out his lines on how the capital should be a place to be proud of all of the time, not some of the time, and that architecture should be for 'the masses, not the classes'. He noted that Labour's record on housing, despite the 'tax' on private housebuilders, was 'abysmal'.

Green candidate Darren Johnson overran his time outrageously, to no great effect other than to demand that Bill Dunster's BedZED scheme should be the norm and not the exception, that we should have 1,000 new allotments, and compulsory solar panels.

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