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Self-sufficient 'arty' folk are a recipe for elitism

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letters

Though it might create headlines for its headline act Richard Florida, and may appear cheaper to the government, getting all the arty types into one self-sufficient community is not regeneration, merely elitism (AJ 12.6.03).

Most creative people have the capacity to exist and survive just that little bit more than most.

Most creative people have always had the capability to work out of the office or establishment and develop communities of their own. Anyway, surely one Brighton is enough?

It is much more beneficial for the 'creative class' to spread themselves throughout the community, like teachers, doctors and policemen, and form their own institutions to promote their purposes, like the RIBA.

Too much elitism (see Nicky Gavron's comments, AJ 12.6.03) can be a pitfall, and it is not my main point to criticise architects or Brighton specifically, rather to encourage proper regeneration that benefits the whole community, not landmark buildings.

Though an outstanding individual achievement and a triumph for its creator, Bill Dunster's Bedzed is still an individual exploitation and is only marginal when it comes to regeneration.

The government has got to be made to realise that good facilities must benefit everyone, including the creative class. If our urban areas are to flourish, vast amounts of money are required for infrastructure improvements. It must not be an exercise in do-it-yourself or marginalisation.

Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth

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